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Granny-flats – things you should know

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Using existing land, granny-flats may be a home extension or a self-contained dwelling. 

A granny-flat may be a convenient and cost effective option, striking a good balance between close access to family and independent living. As no property transfer is required for granny flats, there is no transfer duty or real estate agent fee, and therefore potentially a significant saving compared to selling or buying a property.

Although a formal land subdivision is not required for a granny-flat, the land owner will need:

  • planning approval from the local authority;
  • a building permit for construction; and
  • approval from the Water Corporation.

Granny-flats must be built either by a registered builder or owner-builder.  Many Western Australian building companies offer specialist granny-flat services.

Document the financial arrangements

Building a granny flat may improve the value of the property it is built upon.  In any event the building costs will be substantial.  It is important to record any family loans or agreements in writing. As your lawyers we can properly draft an agreement that will protect your rights and help prevent a disagreement or relationship breakdown. You may wish to make or review your Will at the same time.

Speak to Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs before exchanging money or valuable assets for a granny-flat, as your entitlements may be affected.

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