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Why Should You Consider Dual Occupancy Homes?

Dual Occupancy Homes are an important topic at the moment, especially in NSW where rules and regulations are becoming more lenient to improve housing supply, in what is quickly becoming an unaffordable and overcrowded market.

Dual Occupancy can also be referred to as ‘multi-dwelling’, ‘duplex’ or ‘side-by-side development,’ with granny flats being a popular low scale addition to many homes. Its important to understand the basics of Dual Occupancy as the topic is complex.

The NSW government have offered fast-track approvals for dual occupancy by expanding complying development to include dual occupancy, which in theory opens the door for more homes to hit the market, encouraging a downward turn on house prices.

Requirements of Dual Occupancy Homes

Dual Occupancy is currently in vogue and most people would be ‘allowed’ to build a second dwelling, but it isn’t as simple as some think. Rules and regulations differ in each state, and from one council to another. For example, in Victoria, a granny flat can only be rented to a dependant of the main house. In Queensland, depending on which council you belong to, the minimum property size differs.

In short, it can be hard to determine what you’re allowed to do with your own block of land and where you’re restricted. While it’s great to chat to family and friends about their experience, always take advice with a grain of salt, as there’s a good chance you will go through a different process to them. It’s vital that you do your own research to understand your restrictions and regulations.

Wondering how you can get started? The best way to start is with a development application (or similar) with your local council which you can usually develop in line with your chosen builder. Dual Occupancy can be extremely difficult in some areas, with a few councils (not all) charging a contribution fee which can be as high as $20,000.

Is Dual Occupancy Homes Right For You? 

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to dual occupancy, and the pros and cons will always vary based on where you are. We’ve pulled together this quick pros, cons and considerations list to get you thinking about the right questions.


  • Additional rental income: for a 2-bedroom granny flat in some suburbs of Sydney it could be as much as $700 per week
  • Tax Benefits: with a dual property, you have extra claimables which means more money back at tax time
  • Increasing the value of your property: this is also listed as a con below, so never assume this is a given
  • Minimising income risk: if you have two properties, this means the likelihood of both being vacant is low
  • Need for a second property: such as children or grandparents moving back in


  • Unforeseen expenses: as with all building projects there can often be expensive extras, which is why research and planning is so important
  • Overcapitalisation – the actual cost of the dual dwelling (especially granny flats) may be less than the added value to your property
  • Subdividing or not: if you choose a granny flat it means you won’t be able to subdivide into two titles later


  • Council approvals: on average, it will take 3-6 months to get dual occupancy designs through council approvals. Select a builder that manages this process for you, as it can be more complex than a single dwelling approval.

If you have any other questions or queries about the dual occupancy process, the best thing you can do is chat to an expert. At iBuildNew we are passionate about providing advice and assistance to anyone building a new home or looking to purchase land. Our team of experts can step you through the process seamlessly. Call us on 1800 184 284 or book a call now.

Zoe Langenberg

Zoe is passionate about coffee and interior design. You can find her most weekends exploring an art gallery or devouring a good book.


iBuildNew is the market leading aggregator dedicated to residential home construction and land development. As an independent platform, iBuildNew helps Australians identify and compare new home designs, house and land packages and land estates. It’s the smart way home buyers, who are considering a new build, can find the ideal options to match their individual needs. Home building is a big decision, we make sure you get it right.

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