Planning law

If your client is planning to move into a ‘granny flat’, you may need to advise them about their local government’s planning requirements. Each council has its own planning codes. For example, the City of Greater Dandenong refers to a granny flat as a ‘dependent person’s unit’ and defines it as a movable building which may not require a permit.

The kind of permit obtained may have financial implications. Ensure your client is not spending money on building a dwelling on another person’s property that does not meet the planning requirements and has to be removed. An addition to the property, for example, may only be permitted for the current owners and not have any resale value. Additionally, the ‘granny flat’ may not necessarily increase the value of the property on which it is built, which may then affect any interest the ‘dependent’ older person has in the property.