Queensland Approves Renting Out Granny Flats in The Gap, Other Suburbs to Fix Housing Crisis

Queensland property owners who own secondary dwellings, also known as granny flats, will now be allowed to rent these out to non-relatives in a bid to fix the housing crisis. Heaps of properties suitable as granny flats have been identified in The Gap, as well as 17 other suburbs. 

Previous restrictions on secondary dwellings will no longer apply for the next three years, following discussions with the Queensland Housing Roundtable stakeholders in early September.

However, homeowners who plan to rent out their granny flats need to make sure that their properties are compliant with fire and building provisions as well as the state’s safety guidelines. Thus, they might have to undergo a safety inspection. 

“Many homeowners have granny flats that they’ve built or converted for family members or teenagers who have since moved out,” Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning Steven Miles said.  “Right now, most homeowners can’t rent secondary dwellings, such as granny flats, to anyone other than their immediate family. At the same time, some Queenslanders are sleeping in their cars or in tents.”

“It just makes sense to allow existing accommodation to be occupied by someone other than a relative to provide more affordable accommodation for Queenslanders,” Mr Miles added.  

“It also allows homeowners to earn rent, helping them meet the increased cost of living.”

The Gap Has the Largest Number of Secondary Dwellings

Granny flats are essentially dwellings designed for one or two people. It can be a detached or attached accommodation with its own kitchen/dining, laundry room, living area and bedrooms. Granny flats may also drive up the value of a house by as much as 30 per cent and increase its rental potential by 27 per cent. 

Housing Minister Leeanne Enoch said that the majority of single people above the age of 55 years old currently make up the social housing register, making them ideal for granny flats tenancy. Such a solution will be further discussed at the Queensland Housing Summit on 20th Oct 2022. 

A 2019 study from CoreLogic and Archistar revealed that The Gap has the largest number of granny flats in Brisbane at 42.8 percent. The study identified 18 suburbs with many properties that can potentially have granny flats for renting out. 

  • 1. The Gap
  • 2. Albany Creek
  • 3. Morayfield
  • 4. Deception Bay
  • 5. Kallangur
  • 6. Alexandra Hills
  • 7. Redbank Plains
  • 8. Narangba
  • 9. Rochedale South
  • 10. Ferny Hills
  • 11. Sunnybank Hills
  • 12. Aspley
  • 13. Chapel Hill
  • 14. Inala
  • 15. Bray Park
  • 16. Strathpine
  • 17. Kingston
  • 18. Petrie

Caution on Renting Out

However, the tenancy law overhaul to allow granny flats rentals could prove to be a headache, rather than a solution, for some homeowners or tenants, warned lawyer Frank Higginson. He said that some landlords might have to do more work and incur unexpected expenses for their secondary dwellings. The tenants could also be shortchanged and won’t get what they are actually entitled to. 

Mr Higginsons also believes that most people interested in renting out their granny flats are not going to get professional help from property managers when there are a lot of complicated issues that have to be ironed out. 

Real Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella also advised property owners to investigate the tax implications of renting out granny flats. She also belies that the government has to provide education for those interested in entering the rental property market with their secondary dwelling, on top of establishing a stable policy. 

“We appreciate that sometimes red tape gets in the way of creative solutions, but equally, we don’t want to see a ‘free for all’ where there’s no regulation, leaving people vulnerable to being exploited,” Ms Mercorella said in a statement.  

“We don’t want people to think they can suddenly use inappropriate structures such as garden sheds or garages and pass these off as granny flats.”