Interested in a granny flat but want to make sure granny will actually be okay in it? Here’s what you need to know!
Ask the Inspector, Blog, Brisbane Building and Pest Inspections

Buying Houses with Granny Flats – Here’s What Your Pre-Purchase Inspector is Checking


With the rental market skyrocketing, housing prices on the rise and mortgage rates going through the roof, looking into buying a house with a granny flat attached could open up all sorts of possibilities for you and your family.  

Recent changes in Queensland legislation have meant that non-family members can now rent the granny flat on your new property – but what do you need to know beforehand? What should your pre-purchase property inspector be looking for?  

Here’s why the only pre-purchase property inspector you should be booking when buying a house with a granny flat is Action Property Inspections.  

What are the granny flat rules?

With the current insanity of the rental and housing markets, granny flats have become a popular option for many Queenslanders looking for affordable housing. Until recently, Queensland had regulations that second dwellings like granny flats could only be rented out to family members, unless the homeowner received development approval from the relevant authorities.  

As of September 2022, Qld granny flat laws have changed – at least for the next three years. Homeowners can now rent out their granny flats to non-family members without needing to deal with lots of red tape. This not only helps with the housing crisis, but it also helps homeowners looking for some relief with their mortgage payments.  

According to Brisbane City Council, the RTA of Queensland, and Queensland State Legislation, a granny flat must:  

  • Have at least one car parking space for the tenant 
  • Be built within 20 metres of the primary house on the block 
  • Share common services such as water connection and meter, wastewater connections, street number and letterbox 
  • Be located on a traditional 600 metre square regular rectangle or square shaped block 
  • Have 2.4 metre ceiling height if built under the house or as a garage conversion 
  • Be fitted with the proper smoke detectors as determined by Queensland law.  

What are the inspectors looking for?

Prior to the changes in the laws, any granny flats that were built to be rented out to family members would not have had to adhere to the same building standards or codes that a private rental would have to abide by.  Your pre-purchase property inspector will be looking to ascertain if the granny flat itself complies with all the regular building and safety codes that apply to all properties. In addition, your pre-purchase inspector may advise you that new building works are needed.

How was the granny flat built?

The first consideration must be given to the original construction of the granny flat. A granny flat for rent needs to be held to the same standards as the primary house. So, your inspector will be looking to ensure the overall quality of the structure, its age, and the materials used.

Is the granny flat purpose built or an add-on?

It is a converted garage? Is it a converted shipping container? Is this build actually part of the property plan or is it an add on? If it is an add on, has it got the necessary building approvals? These are considerations that need to be front of mind when inspecting granny flats.  

Is the granny flat liveable?

Finally, is the granny flat actually a home that you could reasonably ask rent for, or is it just a storage shed?  

When considering the purchase of houses with granny flats, you’re essentially looking at purchasing two properties, not just the one. Protect your investment by engaging a professional building inspector with the required experience and expertise to conduct a thorough pre-purchase property inspection 

Book your pre-purchase property inspection
with Action Property Inspections today!



About Andrew Mackintosh

Andrew Mackintosh has been answering home inspection questions in the greater Brisbane area since 1995. He has personally carried out over 20,000 building inspections and is a licensed builder and licensed building inspector, Member of Queensland Master Builders Association & Institute of Building Consultants. Being the business owner and the inspector, Andrew is passionate about providing clients with excellent customer service, value for money, honest, unbiased, thorough inspection and reporting in a professional and timely manner to allow clients to make informed decisions when purchasing property.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *