BCC hitting properties with 5 individuals/ granny flats again

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by RPI, 20th May, 2015.

  1. RPI

    RPI Member

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    Hi All

    We have seen a step up in BCC action against over the last 2 weeks or so to people renting out to either

    1. 5 individuals on 1 lease in the house where the individuals are organised by the owner.
    There has been entry warrants signed by magistrates with police, electricians, locksmiths and council enforcement officers going into properties to gather evidence of use, interview tenants, check if there are separate electricity meters, abilities for tenants to restrict others access to their parts of the dwelling etc. have seen this followed up with friendly invitations to take part in a recorded interview.

    2. Granny flats/ more than 1 lease. This has been external inspection and then show cause notice.

    These sort of enforcement actions go on all the time and we obviously don't deal with all of them so it may be a coincidence but either more landlords are coming to us than normal lately or BCC are upping the actions.
     
  2. Perp

    Perp Member

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    Can you confirm or deny the assertion of another forumite that "it's not a separate household unless they have their own laundry and kitchen"?
     
  3. Azazel

    Azazel Member

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    I heard that a place I used to live in for a short time that had a 3 bedroom house upstairs, and 2 x 1 bedroom downstairs got investigated and the 2 people downstairs cleared out. Rent included utilities, I guess that's how some landlords try to get away with that issue. BCC definitely no likey.
     
  4. jerrybee

    jerrybee Member

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    We just booted out a tenant for breaking these rules.
     
  5. Azazel

    Azazel Member

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    The place I was in, we had a full kitchen upstairs. I think the lowlanders had a little kitchenette each? It was a shared laundry downstairs for the whole place.
     
  6. RPI

    RPI Member

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    A household has a common provision for the essentials of life (eg food)

    But also a household is a group of people who come together of their own volition with the intent of living together, eg a group of uni friends. If the landlord is the one doing the advertising, even if under one lease then it is questionable that this is a household.

    Some of the questioning of tenants involves asking how they came to live there etc.
     
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  7. DEC

    DEC Member

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    What about if I live in the back yard Granny flat and rent out the PPOR ?

    There would only one lease for that property with less than 5 people on it.
     
  8. RPI

    RPI Member

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    If you take on the council there is a fair chance that you will win, at least in the short term. We often find holes in the methods used and end up getting things withdrawn, overturned etc. The problem is the expense it takes you to defend it and often the council is then coming back a year or 2 years later for another round.
     
  9. RPI

    RPI Member

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    How many other people are you leasing it out to? If there are more than 3 rooms then you have an issue. If you are renting out 3 rooms or less and the tenants are not allowed into your granny flat, don't have a key etc then you are not really a household. This is unlikely to be compliant with the house code. If you don't have any complaints from anyway then you may well get left alone, however if you upset a tenant or neighbour (innocently or otherwise).
     
  10. DEC

    DEC Member

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    It would be a normal house like any other, say a couple and a kid in a 3 bedroom house.
    Its not built yet but the plan would be to have a separate place like any number of Brisbane firms advertise like the one below
    [​IMG]
    I have a corner block with 50 metre plus street access down a dead end street. The main house takes up a small part of the block at front and my thought was this could be a small part at back with at least 15 metres between the houses and a fence or hedge between the two
    are you saying that style of place isnt allowed in Brisbane and they have to be connected?
     
  11. RPI

    RPI Member

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    They don't need to be connected, but they tenants would need to have keys to and be able to access the granny flat part. That is the strict interpretation of the law at the moment. IF you were doing some building work then you could look and see if you could make the combined dwellings comply with the rooming accommodation code (and BCA Class 1(b) specs). Then it may be possible.
     
  12. GoAnna!

    GoAnna! Member

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    So in Brisbane you cant apply for two dwellings under one title?
     
  13. Perp

    Perp Member

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    Unless zoned for multiple occupancy, the two dwellings would have to be occupied by one household, i.e. Actually occupied by granny. You can't rent out two dwellings separately, no.
     
  14. Ed Barton

    Ed Barton Advance Australia fair

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    Do BCC actively police this (eg trawling listings, pretend tenant enquiries etc)? Or do they just act on complaints?

    I'd imagine they're kept pretty busy just acting on complaints. I have a couple of IPs in the Sunnybank area and I sometimes do a drive by if in the area. There are a couple of large houses on my path that I've worked out are defacto boarding houses with probably 10+ unrelated students crammed in. If I can work that out by a drive by twice a year surely the neighbours know what's going on - the neighbours obviously don't care too much and don't complain - but it only takes a new neighbour to move in and complain for them to get shut down.

    Your Uni friends example is an interesting one. Back in my uni days a few uni friends and I rented a run down cheap huge 4 bedder with 3+ sleepouts (converted verandahs). It was a very fluid house, as far as tenants go - had no idea back then that you should ask the LL permission to add people. 4 friends living there soon became 6 when boyfriends and girlfriends moved in. 6 became 10 when people crashed out or country students just 'rented' the couch during the week. Would that be a legit 'household'? Sometimes when a 'proper' room become vacant and we couldn't rent it to uni friends we would advertise. Still legit? I'd imagine that sort of situation would keep a council worker doing paperwork and investigations for a year!
     
  15. Perp

    Perp Member

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    Generally, because you have all agreed to form a household together, and be bound by the same lease, you're considered one household.

    I think the easiest way to think about it is this: do you trust all the other parties to have access to your bedroom and belongings etc. when you're not there? Do you trust that they'll pay the rent, and accept that you'll have to cover it if they don't?

    If you have to lock your bedroom, or don't share kitchen or laundry etc., and aren't willing to be held responsible for your housemates' financial irresponsibility, then you're unlikely to be considered part of the same household.
     
  16. RPI

    RPI Member

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    Perp is spot on
     
  17. InvestorMan

    InvestorMan Member

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    two seperate areas in the same house - oo + boarder

    I am wondering if this situation is legit and if not - how can it be made legit?
    I have a separate top floor with 3-4 bedrooms that is occupied by me (OO).
    The lower part is a separate granny flat, properly approved when I did the renos to create it however not 'legal height' (almost tho - 2.3m). It has two separate bathrooms, and two 'rooms' (what would be bedrooms if it was legal height), + Laundry room. It's very big and very modern. I am renting it out as rooming accommodation (but only one lease for both rooms). Is that OK? I have followed another thread here from 2014 where you guys said that it's been relaxed and that rooming accommodation in this case is legit.
     
  18. jerrybee

    jerrybee Member

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    I contacted Darryl and he's helped me lodge a technical advice with the BCC to see if I can get some things changed. It's going to be a long process, like 6 months, and may not even be successful. But worth a shot.
     
  19. InvestorMan

    InvestorMan Member

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    Hey mate

    Why did you need it? what's your situation? and how much did it cost? lots of questions sorry :)
     
  20. jerrybee

    jerrybee Member

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    Because I'm 45m from a huge shopping centre and I have 7 bedrooms so it would be a shame if I couldn't make use of its full potential. It starts off with a technical advice which cost me a few hundred I think. Then if it's looking positive I embark on something bigger which costs more and takes like 6 months which would allow me to rent the granny flat separately and / or have more than 5 unrelated parties.