Renting out self contained living area - not granny flat

I live in Brisbane.

Years ago when my husband and I knocked down our existing home and re-built, we noticed 'dual living' potential with the plan we picked out. We live upstairs and find someone to live downstairs, help pay mortgage...

With only a couple of additions, half of downstairs became dual living, like a Granny Flat. We simply added an internal door and a 'wet bar' (this is what it is called on the plan, but I also describe it as a kitchenette in our ads). The sales person, or whomever he was, at the building company quickly pointed out we could not have a second oven, so we didn't get a full kitchen put in downstairs. Is this to do with what then creates a second dwelling? I am having trouble trying to get me head around definition of a dwelling for BCC.
The area downstairs has a large 'master bedroom' with ensuite, living area with the 'wet bar' and linen cupboard. It also has its own separate external entry. We added a lockable internal door so the whole area down there is private and self-contained.

After reading about BCC being tipped off by seeing Gumtree ads, I want to be very careful about how I advertise it available for rent. Is it technically not a 'granny flat', as it is not a second, separate dwelling as it doesn't have an oven? Then is 'renting' it out under a general tenancy agreement still legal?

Also, at the moment, we have the internal door unlocked to allow 'tenants' access to our laundry in our garage (and therefore the rest of the house). What I was considering doing is enclosing an area on the deck outside and putting a washing machine there (we have power and water out there), so we can lock the internal door and have the area truly self-contained and no need for access to any other part of the house. Could this alter legalities again? It doesn't make for a compelling case for someone just renting and sharing our house, without exclusion areas! I am thinking it hinges on whether or not our downstairs is considered a second dwelling?

We have only one electricity meter, one water meter and one letter box - cost of utilities is a flat rate included in the weekly 'rent'.

Also, any tips on how to advertise - i.e. wording to use without saying 'granny flat' or 'self-contained' without drawing attention from BCC?

Thank you!
Just check with the local council to ensure that what you are doing is legal, to avoid problems further down the track.

You may need fire walls between the two areas.
What you want to do is illegal. You can only have one household per property unless you are zoned for multiple tenancies. A boarder who's sharing your house is acceptable; they're part of your single household. Having separation and renting to an entirely separate household is illegal.

But Council should be the least of your worries. Doing this will render your home and contents insurance void. When your house has burned down in a fire - possibly caused by your illegal tenants - and you find that your insurer won't pay out because you violated the terms of your policy (most/all policies require occupancy to comply with Council regulations), their rental income will be of little solace.
Im in Brisbane (BCC). I don't know what the law is with BCC, i should look into it. I don't know how closely BCC would be monitoring this type of situation. My examples:

I attended an open home that was advertised on last year. It clearly stated that it was dual living and that the lower floor was currently tenanted and tenants were paying $x and the new owners could live upstairs or rent it out. I thought it was odd so i had a look.

I also went to another open home, the listing was nothing unusual. However when i attended the open day - the 3 bed 2 bath townhouse with double garage had 10 single beds in it. 2 beds per room and 2 double bunks in the double garage. I questioned the real estate agent but she just shrugged. That property is still for sale, originally $420K now $370K - 6 months later. Maybe they are an estranged couple who still live together with their 8 children. Lol.

Cheers, nat
Im in Brisbane (BCC). I don't know what the law is with BCC, i should look into it.
I run a legal student accommodation. I do know. :)

There are heaps of illegal student accommodations around. That doesn't make running one a good idea. Lots of people use meth, too. :eek:

As stated, the Council are the least of your concerns - though if they get complaints from neighbours you will find yourself in a world of hurt pretty quickly. Apart from the insurance risk - if that's not enough to persuade you - just imagine if there were a fire and somebody were killed. Apart from the deceased's next of kin being able to own everything you have and everything you ever earn, you may find yourself charged with manslaughter.

Is it really worth it, for a few bucks?

If one isn't restricted to legal means of earning a living, there are more lucrative and far less risky ways to make extra money. :eek:
Thanks Perp.

I was aware of the BCC laws of not being able to rent out granny flats to other parties, but wasn't sure if that came from the set-up - physical properties- of the granny flat (i.e. it having a second oven/ stove), but it seems it is more focused on what defines a household.

I won't bother with the extra laundry then. We have not had a problem with tenants accessing the rest of our home in the past so will just continue as such.

We have told our insurer (RACQ) about our situation, that we have someone unrelated to us living with us, that they pay to live with us, and that they have access to all of our home, and it is noted on our policy. We are not breaking any codes now so there should be no issues!

Across the street from me the main house and a 'unit' out the back are rented out separately (I know as we knew the people living in the main house). They have separate meters (electricity meters at least) but a single letter box. So that is naughty then!!