Forums / Property Investing / General Property / WARNING: Dual Living/ Granny Flat unapproved Duplexes- Brisbane City Council Enforcement Notices

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  • Profile photo of RPIRPI
    Participant
    @rpi
    Join Date: 2012
    Post Count: 308

    Hi All

    I also have this on another property forum, but thought it important enough to repeat verbatim here as I have a large number of people contacting me after receiving these at present, they are only in one area of Brisbane at present.

    BCC has begun to issue show cause and enforcement notices against people renting out dual living or granny flats or unapproved duplexes separately.

    A Qld Court of Appeal decision determining that a house can not include discrete classes of people living in distinct areas of the dwelling without it being classified as a multi-unit dwelling.

    In plain english this means that it is not permissible to lease out a primary and secondary dwelling to separate parties, at least in BCC area, if there is no planning approval for a multi-unit dwelling.

    I have seen enforcement notices take 2 forms thus far,

    1. If the dwelling is on low density residential land

    At the expiration of the term of the current lease agreement but no later than 12 months from the date of this enforcement notice, owners are required to regularise the use of the premises to ensure compliance with the House Code

    -1 single lease agreement over whole premises

    -1 letterbox, water meter, power meter

    And then to either provide a stat dec that this has been done within 30 days of the completion of the works, or in some instances it is requiring certification of compliance

    2. If the dwelling is low-medium density land

    Requiring the owners to submit a development application for a material change of use to multi unit or single unit dwellings, within a specific period of time.

    If no MCU is applied for or given, regularise the dwelling as per 1 above.

    Maximum penalties exceed $180k for an individual who fails to comply with an enforcement notice.

    If you have received an enforcement notice, you have 20 days to appeal it so you need to get in contact with a town planner NOW.

    If you have received a show cause notice, contact your town planner now and see if you can avoid progressing to an enforcement notice.

    If you lease out any dual living/ duplex / granny flat or other type arrangement for a dwelling zoned for a house, but with separate lease agreements, contact a town planner now and seek advice.

    I am willing to look at anything above without charging anyone fees, fees will be payable if you need my planning firms help to try and resolve the situation.

    This will affect thousands of properties across Brisbane. It looks like they are starting on 1 side of the city and going to work across it, as most of my notices are from within 1 distinct area of Brisbane.

    Email me at the PRO Town Planners address.

    Darryl

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    Profile photo of RPIRPI
    Participant
    @rpi
    Join Date: 2012
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    UPDATE

    The New Town Plan is not going to help people with this, in fact it is even worse.

    Any development for a secondary dwelling is:

    (a) a maximum of 80m2 in gross floor area;

    (b) located within 20m of the dwelling house;

    (c) occupied by one or more members of the same household as the dwelling house.

    Household is defined as

    An individual or a group of two or more related or unrelated people who reside in the dwelling, with the common intention to live together on a long-term basis and who make common provision for food or other essentials for living. The term does not include individuals living in rooming accommodation.

    It seems fairly clear that BCC's intention is to not allow separate renting of secondary dwellings, even if the primary dwelling is owner occupier.

    Darryl

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    Profile photo of JPS25JPS25
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    @jps25
    Join Date: 2010
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    Hi Darryl

    Glad my daughter and her boyfriend have decided to see some common sense and move. They are renting a 3 bed that shares electricity with the guy who lives below, there is also a couple in the 2 bed section next door but they do have their own meter. All 3 are tenanted they always thought the guy downstairs should not legally be there but is paying rent to the owner who lives elsewhere (he is friends with owner). Crunch came for them when the electricity bill came in at $570 for the quarter, they are never there always at work daughter works away 2 out of 3 weeks, no aircon and no heaters in the winter as there was a log fire. No idea what the guy below was running. One reason for high bill I noticed though was that is was water and power on same high tariff plus paying extra for green power and the owner also tried to pass on her late fee cheek of it. Should have been split 2rds to them and 1 rd to guy downstairs but my daughter had a cap of $260 in her contract so it saved them paying out $380. I did warn them but kids when do they listen only when its too late ha ha they have learnt their lesson and are looking for somewhere new to live.

    I very much doubt this place will comply with regulations

    Jean

    Profile photo of KylieJSKylieJS
    Member
    @kyliejs
    Join Date: 2012
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    Thanks Darryl

    We nearly brought a property like this in Capalaba (Redlands Council). The original house had an extension built on to the back of it. The two living spaces each had their own kitchen and separate entrance, and were not accessible to each other. It also had a non compliant fire wall between the two areas, and the two sets of tenants were on the same water and power meter.

    After doing due diligence we decided against buying it, but the other option if we had brought it, and received a show cause notice was to put a door in the common wall, then rent it out by the room. Is this an option for landlords in this situation?

    Cheers,

    Kylie

    Profile photo of RPIRPI
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    @rpi
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    If up to 5 unrelated people come together to enter into a single tenancy agreement with a landlord, that is a house.  If there are separate agreements, that is excluded from definition as a house, more likely multi-unit dwelling.

    see ADD Design v Brisbane City Council 2012   

    Qld Court of appeal, discusses well, case was about houses with 10 rooms rented out separately, but same principles apply.

    D

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    Profile photo of The FoxThe Fox
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    @the-fox
    Join Date: 2012
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    I have to say that I agree with this assessment completely and I think it is a great thing that Darryl is drawing public attention to this. It will no doubt affect many 'investment' buyers who were misled into purchasing these properties by marketing companies on the basis that they could be dual tenanted.

    I am aware that The Investors Club is one such property marketing company who have sold a number of these units to their members on the basis that the properties could be dual tenanted, when legally they can't.  In fact,  right in front of me I have a  TIC property profile for one of these properties which says:

    Quote:
    "Two rental incomes will be achieved with this property with NO body corporate, what a great concept" in another part it says "The concept is the house is built to cater for two rental properties under one roof, what a great idea."

    I would recommend that anyone who has found themselves to have been misled by anyone marketing these properties, to  seek some independent advice moving forward. Judging by Darryl's comments in this article I can see that he may be one such person with the knowledge to properly dissect and understand what might really be going on here.

    By this I mean it is very important not to blindly follow the advice of the people who sold you the property, or those connected to and supporting the builder/developer of these properties.

    I am aware that there are certain individuals who have been campaigning to gather support for solutions which steer any blame for this away from themselves. They may appear to have your best interests at heart but be warned. In my opinion they have a very good reason to be focusing your attention on blaming the BCC for this mess, and buyers of these properties need to be aware and very careful of this. There's an old saying which says "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me."  

    Don't be fooled for a second time! 

    Profile photo of Rick staRick sta
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    @rick-sta
    Join Date: 2011
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    How do you determine an "unapproved duplex" from an "approved duplex" ? 

    Profile photo of RPIRPI
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    @rpi
    Join Date: 2012
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    PD online is a good start.  

    If it is a true duplex it will be council approved as such, if the approval is for a house, then people are trying to be tricky.

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    Profile photo of Richard TaylorRichard Taylor
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    @qlds007
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    Thanks Darryl excellent update on the local market.

    Cheers

    Yours in Finance

    Richard Taylor | Mortgage Broker helping investors build their wealth thru property
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    Profile photo of swami_k2000swami_k2000
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    @swami_k2000
    Join Date: 2013
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    Hi Darryl,

    I have a block of land in mind which is the end of BCC and start of Logan City Council. I wanted to build a 2 storey house with 2 garage, 3 beds downstairs and 3 bed upstairs and 2 Kitchens. I want to live upstairs and use the ground floor as a showroom or a gallery for my work related so clients can come and have a look at out work manship.

    Years later I wanted the ground floor to be leased out under one tenancy agreement. Please let me know if this is possible and legal. Where would I find relevant information regards to this situation.

    Thanks Swami.

    Profile photo of JPS25JPS25
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    Join Date: 2010
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    I agree with The Fox I have seen quite a few house's being advertised as dual income in order to attract double NRAS Incentive they are taking the plan of a 4 bed house and putting in a dividing wall to make it 2 dwellings. I don't believe this is legal but somehow they are being approved by some of the consortiums out there.

    Profile photo of RPIRPI
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    @rpi
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    Hi Swami

    Would be either home business or small non residential use currently.

    Renting out separately later on, unless you got a commercial zoning, would be a multiunit dwelling.

    D

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    Profile photo of Andrew_AAndrew_A
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    Interested to see how it all works out, will help rents push up if they have any success in cracking down on all the scenarios, the up/down house rental where d/stairs is not legal height would comprise a lot of examples in greater Brisbane.

    Profile photo of RPIRPI
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    @rpi
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    I had a nervous phone call from one of those not legal h/height ones this week.

    It is ramping up if anything.

    We have had 4 new show cause or enforcement notices this week from new suburbs, 

    Rocklea

    Eight Mile Plains

    Indooroopilly

    Wilston

    Previously we could pick up a pattern, the suburbs where in the same area or houses built by the same builder or sold by the same marketing company,  I can't find anything with these.

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    Profile photo of MrMagoosieMrMagoosie
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    @mrmagoosie
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    Does this extend to rent-by-the-room (eg. rooming accommodation) too?

    My understanding was always that a house could be rented by the room on individual agreements so long as there were 5 or less people.  It was only if there were more than 5 people that it would fall into the boarding house category. 

    I believe this is also why there was an amendment to the City Plan from 6 to 5 unrelated people.  That is, so that it aligned with the State legislation.

    Profile photo of RPIRPI
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    @rpi
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    Hi 

    Yes it does. 

    The 5 unrelated person thing only relates to those in a group of individuals, a household or a discrete group. So if 5 mates come together and rent a house this is allowed under this provision.  If the land lord does it individually than the use will be classed as a multi-unit dwelling regardless of the form of the building.

    D

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    Profile photo of MrMagoosieMrMagoosie
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    Wow, that's huge.  I know so many people across Brisbane who are renting on rooming accommodation agreements.  I reckon at least 50% of students would be renting in this manner and it would have to be 50,000+ people easy.

    Has BCC sent out similar notices to for rent-by-the-room student accommodation, or is it just houses with a granny flat?

    Profile photo of RPIRPI
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    @rpi
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    Hi MM

    Student rooming also

    Yes loads of people

    D

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    Profile photo of TryingtogetaheadDaveTryingtogetaheadDave
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    Join Date: 2013
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    Hi everybody,

    So let me try to get my head around this. I have a property with a house and want to build a granny flat in the back yard, I may be able to this but I cannot then rent out either the granny flat or the house and live in the other myself? Hmm that does not seem to be right, if I do everything right by the book and pay taxes on the rental income why is this a problem?

    My property is list a Low Residential and is also considered a small lot, I am only 6 km's out of the C B D in Brisbane  and in a prime location right on the bus way. I have been advised that I would be able to get almost $400 a week rent for my house. It would make things allot more comfortable for my wife and I financially and also add allot of value to our property.

    Am I right in understanding that this is the case??

    Profile photo of RPIRPI
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    @rpi
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    The use by discrete households would be considered to be Multi-Unit dwellings by BCC regardless of the built form.

    You may have some hope because of where you are on the busway.  The local plan overides the land zoning.  If we could go for higher use than you would be able to put it through as a MUD.

    In some Council areas you can only build the granny flat for dependent relatives and then must sign a stat dec stating as much and agreeing to remove the extra kitchen when they no longer live with you.

    The issue with it is the legal definition of the use and if the Council was to allow it then they would lose control of where  MUD's are located.  Neighbours hate it and complain to Council regularly about extra cars and people.  

    The new City Plan 2012 only makes it even harder.

    RPI | Certus Legal Group / PRO Town Planners
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