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'Granny Flat' Rules go in Rent Squeeze

03 June 2013

Home owners will be allowed to rent out backyard granny flats or "Fonzie" flats, built above garages, from August 2 under changes Planning Minister John Day hopes will address Perth's rental squeeze.

In the second State Government announcement in as many weeks related to honouring an election pledge, Mr Day said today that it would be part of several planning changes to residential design codes, or R-Codes.

Mr Day said removing the requirement for occupants of granny flats to be a relative of the main householder would provide greater housing choice for people.

He said the floor space allowed for granny flats will also increase from 60sqm to 70sqm.

"That particular change we expect to go some way to providing more affordable accommodation in Western Australia," he said.

"It provides a possible source of income for people who may not have that at the moment - they are retirees, older people or people who have quite a lot of space in their backyards."

It would also provide "relatively low cost accommodation" for students, single people or retirees, he said.

Other changes to the R Codes include lowering the minimum average lot size for single residential R20 developments from 500sqm to 450sqm in line with previous regulations before a change in 2002.

Mr Day said this would give more homeowners opportunities to sub-divide their blocks.

He said the minimum lot size which required planning approval for most single homes would also decrease from 350sqm to 260sqm in a bid to reduce red tape.

However, building licences would still be required regardless of the lot size.

Mr Day said the changes followed a comprehensive review and public consultation.

Today's announcement follows weeks of criticism from the State Opposition around the Government's broken promises on timeframes for its public transport projects and tax relief for businesses.

Last week Premier Colin Barnett said the Government had fast-tracked its election pledge to give restaurants more freedom to serve customers alcohol without a meal. << back to news articles