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Granny Flats in Brisbane City Council Areas - Renting Separately

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by RPI, 6th May, 2016.

  1. RPI

    RPI Property Lawyer, Town Planner Business Member

    Joined:
    19th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    709
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hi All

    I have rattled on about this in various other threads but thought this update deserved its own thread because this applies to pretty much all granny flats/ secondary dwellings/dual income properties in BCC.

    BCC has flagged changes to the Rooming Accommodation Code and also some changes by the State Gov to the Qld Development Code that will remove Granny Flats ( Secondary Dwellings) from being a Class 1B building/ Rooming Accommodation.

    As it stands in BCC now, you can't rent out a granny flat, secondary dwelling etc separately to the main house, they both must be used by the same household group.

    The exception that became available in City Plan 2014 was that if less than 5 people occupied the entire property then you could get through under the Rooming Accommodation Code if you had a change of classification from 1A to 1B.

    I am told that December is when the changes are due to occur.

    If you have a 1B/ Rooming Accommodation approval in place then you will be an existing lawful use after the change, as long as you continue the use (ie don't rent the whole place out to one household group).

    If you don't have an approval then get ready for show cause notices or prosecutions. Sometimes they will issue a show cause or enforcement notice giving you a short period of time to regularise the use (eg 6 months). If you want to fight these then you can kiss $15k plus GST minimum in legal fees away. That will only delay the time you have to stop the use (after December this year anyway). It is possible we could go through court and win but that would be $50k and I won't have any idea until the new changes are in writing.

    For prosecutions it is a knock at the door of the property, complete with 2 police officers, 2 BCC officers and an electrician. A week or so later a request for an interview with BCC will arrive (don't go without a lawyer) and then a summons to appear at your local magistrates court.

    We have represented multiple people in prosecutions, the best we have achieved is ~$2,500 fine and no conviction recorded. That is with a top planning barrister appearing and a lot of effort put into minimising the hurt (eg legal spend of $10-$15k).

    I am also told that BCC will be going hard against these sorts of properties in the new year.

    Some properties won't be able to be converted, others will but to reiterate, if they are not done this year then it is very likely you would need to stop using them that way and rent it out to a single household group.
     
    Whitecat likes this.
  2. chindonly

    chindonly Well-Known Member

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    So Daryl, why is BCC going so hard at this, when many other councils allow it?
    Seems to not make a lot of sense.
     
  3. RPI

    RPI Property Lawyer, Town Planner Business Member

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    Location:
    Brisbane
    They seem to have a pathological hatred and obsession with them.
     
  4. chindonly

    chindonly Well-Known Member

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    Maybe if they realized they could allow it, then charge more rates, it would make them a lot more money!
     
    wylie likes this.
  5. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Just goes to show that the $ aren't always important.
     
  6. Whitecat

    Whitecat Well-Known Member

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    Why?
    Maybe BCC are being lobbied by developers who want to maintain demand for high rise accomodation?