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Questions about creating two separate rentals within one double storey house...

Discussion in 'Development' started by wylie, 17th Sep, 2015.

  1. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    It has been suggested to us that if we are lifting a house and moving it on the block to give a larger backyard to proposed townhouses, then why not at the same time create two separate levels of living and install fire proofing between floors, and anything else required within Brisbane City Council to allow us to rent top and bottom separately.

    Before I even research with local agents whether this will limit our pool of tenants I thought I'd ask here if anybody has done this. I always think I'd hate to rent the top half of a house with another family or couple in the bottom half. It just doesn't feel right (to me).

    If they want a unit, wouldn't they rent a unit?

    Properly separated, legally done, I'm wondering who would rent the "upstairs" or "downstairs" of an old well renovated house over the same sized townhouse or unit? This is suburbia, Coorparoo.

    I don't want to let my prejudices against such a living style to stop us making a better choice than just making one large two level house.

    We would get more rent from two levels, but are we thinning our rental pool too much?
     
  2. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    • Will BCC approve this as two units based on the rest of the development?
    • Will it get approved as a single dwelling with the rest of the development?
    • If you can't get it approved straight up as per point 1, get point 2 approved and then a S96 amendment for the second unit as there's no further changes to the building envelope
     
  3. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    The DA is already in council, so no changes for now. I'd not considered turning a house into two levels able to be rented separately. I'm sure we would get more rent, but unsure if this is what the Coorparoo market is wanting. I will check with local PMs but thought I'd check here first.
     
  4. beachgurl

    beachgurl Well-Known Member

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    I thought dual occs were illegal in BCC? Have you considered a rooming house? You can have a maximum of 5 unrelated people in a property and the build can be code addressable so no permissions required by neighbours. I've been doing preliminary research in Coorparoo for this option but can't get solid figures on room rents to work out if it is viable.
     
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  5. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    Not on an LMR block which is what Wylie would have if she is doing townhouses.
     
  6. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    For anybody interested, I emailed the PM who found my last tenant. Her response was that twice in the past six months she tried to rent a split house. She found tenants were concerned about what the tenants would be like in the other "half", party animals, noisy kids, who looks after the yard, who uses the yard etc. She said in both cases, she ended up renting both houses as a whole after having trouble renting the levels separately.

    My concern was that people looking for apartment, unit or townhouse living are unlikely to be looking at a "house" and it would diminish the rental pool for that particular house. She confirmed this to be the case, in her recent experience.

    This is just one agent, and I will do more research, but her response is pretty much what I thought would be the case. We both agreed that it is like expecting (and getting) more rent from renting out rooms individually, but way more work finding individual tenants happy to live with strangers, and of course, more work as they leave, filling one bedroom in a house of strangers.

    I guess if a developer buys a block that comes with a house that cannot be removed from the block, then it makes sense to make what is four townhouses and one house into four townhouses and a house split into two, ie. six dwellings. That gives more profit on sale of the finished product, and the developer likely will sell and not continually be looking for tenants for an unusual house, split into two.
     
  7. mcarthur

    mcarthur Well-Known Member

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    Hi @wylie,
    Had the same. I've a 2 level in redcliffe that are separate up/down flats. PM has done 3 of these in the last six months with mixed results - if upstairs and downstairs get along, things are ok. But you may go through 4+ tenants to find some who are compatible in that situation.

    Note also you'll be responsible for the yard upkeep (because it's in common), and you'd need separate water and electricity metering which costs.

    I decided to go with a single rental covering both, and got a family with older kid who wanted their partner to be "at home" as well. They have downstairs while parents and sibling are up. Apparently properties with these are pretty hard to find, so we're both happy.

    PMs expectation of separate rent totalled 560-580, whereas single rent is $495. Given the likely loss of rent due to tenant turnover, I'm ok with the lesser.
     
  8. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks mcarthur. That is good to know. I also don't mind lower rent for less hassle and less vacancies. We already look after the yards for these as they are big blocks and tenants don't want to spend half their weekend mowing, so I could easily continue that, but the narrowing of the band of tenants who want half a house is my big concern. It seems it is a valid concern.