Finding the right property
Granny Flat Solutions offers a unique pre-purchase site evaluation service to help put your mind at ease.
Finding the right property to put a Granny Flat on can be hard could result in a costly mistake. You don’t have to go at it alone. The Granny Flat Solutions team is readily available to help you navigate through the rules and regulations for granny flats, with skills and knowledge we aquired through-out out 35 years’ experience.
If you find a property, or properties, you are seriously considering to purchase (with the intent of building a secondary dwelling), we can conduct a comprehensive, pre-purchse site assessment to evaluate the feasibility of a Granny Flat for that block. Our experienced site assessor will need to look over the Contract of Sale, as well as organise an on-site inspection, to determine whether there are any potential issues or adverse conditions. Once complete, you will be sent a feasbility report outlining their findings.
Please note: this intent of this service is purely to assess the feasibility of a granny flat for the property of interest, and should not be used to influence or persuade your final decision. Our assessors will never give advice as to whether or not you should purchase the property, and the final decision to do so it at your sole discretion.
What to look for when purchasing a property
There are many factors that determine the development potential of a granny flat for a property; and can effect budget, location, design and style.
In addition to other site conditions, these are the main things to look for when purchasing a block of land with the intention of building a Granny Flat.
1. Complying Development Requirements
Does the property comply for approval through a CDC?
Since the release of the NSW Affordable Housing State Environment Planning Policy (SEPP) in 2009, residential home-owners can now have their granny flat approved through a private certifier if the property meets the Complying Development Certificate (CDC) requirements. Obtaining Granny Flat approvals through Complying Development Certificate is the fastest and most cost-effective method.
Frontage Lineal metres
|Total Floor Area
including HouseSquare metres
Additional CDC Requirements to check for:
- Minimum block size of 450m2
- Does the property already contain a Granny Flat?
If it does and you still intend on building a new Granny Flat, the existing Granny Flat on the block must be knocked down.
A Granny Flat is classified as a ‘secondary dwelling’ and you cannot have two ‘secondary dwellings’ on one lot.
- There must be a ‘primary dwelling’ (main house) established on, or approved for, the property.
- Must allow for a 24m2 courtyard space (in addition to the 60m2 Granny Flat), with an area minimum 4m wide.
This is an open space, and can be placed within the property setbacks.
- For battle-axe blocks, an access handle of at least 3m wide is required
The Complying Development requirements are ‘black and white’ – your property must comply with all the conditions (sorted per block size. If the block you are interested in doesn’t meet one of these requirements, it may still be possible to have a Granny Flat approved through a Development Application (DA). However, unlike the CDC requirements that remain consistant throughout NSW, the conditions for a Development Application vary between councils.
Each local council has their own set of requirements, outlined in their Development Control Plans (DCP). Depending on the council area of your property of interest, Granny Flat approval could be fairly easy to nearly impossible. For example, the Blacktown Council DCP outlines stricter conditions regarding the type of stormwater drainage for secondary dwellings, only allowing charged lines to be used. This means that if the block is sloping away from the street at an angle that requires an absorption pit, your Granny Flat will not be approved.
While not everyone may want to get their approvals through a Complying Development Certificate, these requirements are commonly echoed throughout various DCPs across many local council areas. They are a good indication of the space to allow for the Granny Flat.
2. The Title Search
Does the property have any easements of covenants?
A Title Search is simply a ‘Certificate of Title’ for your property. It outlines the legal owner(s) of the property, as well as any easements or covenants (if applicable) that may effect how and where we build, or whether can build at all.
Having an easement on your property means that another party, or parties, have a right cross or otherwise use that portion of your land. ‘Right of Carriageway’ and stormwater-related easements are most commonly seen. If there is an easement on your property, it is illegal to build over it without obtaining the proper permissions.
A covenant is a binding agreement that creates an obligation on the owner of the property. Common forms of covenants include (but are not limited to); maintaining a ‘look’ or aesthetic for the property (ie. materials and colours allowed for the facade), maintaining drainage systems and permissible structures, etc.
If you have a covenant on your property, it is possible to have it removed; either through the beneficiary of the covenant, or by the Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal.
In New South Wales title information is controlled by Land Registry Services. Your contract of sale will have a copy of your Title. If you cannot find your contract of sale, a copy can be purchased through an online legal service, such a triSearch.
3. The Sewer Diagram
Is there a main sewer line running through the property?
A Sewer Diagram shows where the private waterways and main sewer lines are on the property. This document can be found in the contract of sale.
When building a Granny Flat, we typically connect any plumbing connections to your private waterways – the easiest and most cost-effective option. All main sewer lines are owned and protected by Sydney Water. Main sewer lines outside of your property boundaries are of no concern; however, if inside property boundaries, depending on the location, it may effect where you can build and associated costs. Every main sewer line has a ‘zone of influence’, determined by the sewer’s depth. If a main sewer line is present in the proposed location of a Granny Flat, we can either choose to avoid the zone of influence, or build within it.
- Avoiding the Zone of Influence:
Depending on the size of the zone of influence, the location of the sewer line and the remaining space available on the property, choosing to build outside the zone of influence is the most cost-effective option.
- Building within the Zone of Influence:
As Sydney Water is the legal owner of the sewer line, if building within the zone of influence, we are required to do a sewer encasement (enveloping the sewer line with concrete). A sewer encasement must span the length of the building impacting the zone of influence, with an extra metre on either side. For example, if your Granny Flat is 6m within the zone of influence, we will have to encase 8m of sewer.
Having a main sewer line in your proposed build location is no cause for defeat. Our designers are experienced in creating budget-friendly, custom floor plans to minimally impact the zone of influence and reduce the amount of encasing required.
4. Section 10.7 Certificate
How is the property zoned?
A Section 10.7 is a ‘Planning Certificate’ that gives information your property’s development potential, detailing restrictions and zoning. Previously known as a ‘Section 149 Certificate’, this document can be found in your contract of sale. A Section 10.7 will tell us:
- Is the property residentially zoned?
- Bushfire affected?
- Floor affected?
- Heritage listed?
Build with the Best
Granny Flat Solutions is the ONLY multi-award winning granny flat company, with over 13 awards under our belt.