New Granny Flat Regulations in Victoria: Your Complete Guide to Building Small Second Homes

Navigate the latest granny flat regulations in Victoria with ease. Understand building requirements, permits, and occupancy rules for your secondary dwelling project.

Hello Victorian homeowners and builders! The landscape for building small second homes, affectionately known as granny flats, is changing. The Victorian Government has taken strides to make this easier, opening up more options for families and enhancing housing availability. Here at ConnectLaw, we’re excited to walk you through what these changes mean for you and your property.

Revamped Rules for Granny Flats
Gone are the days of tangled red tape! Following the Victorian Government’s Housing Statement for 2024-2034, the process of adding a granny flat to your property has been simplified. Thanks to Amendment VC253 and updates to the Building Regulations 2018, the path to building a cosy secondary dwelling is now clearer.

What Counts as a Small Second Home?
Imagine a compact, self-contained unit no larger than 60 square metres, complete with all the essentials – kitchen, bathroom, and toilet. This is what the new regulations define as a small second home. These dwellings are designed to sit comfortably on the same lot as your main home, and they even cut you some slack by not requiring a connection to reticulated natural gas or a dedicated car parking spot.

The Permit Puzzle Solved
Here’s the big news – you likely won’t need a planning permit for your granny flat if your property isn’t subject to specific environmental or flooding controls. A building permit, however, remains a must to ensure everything’s up to snuff regarding safety and design.

Who Can Live in Your Granny Flat?
Pretty much anyone! Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a tenant, the choice is yours. All the usual rules for a residential tenancy apply, ensuring comfort and safety for whoever calls it home.

Building Your Granny Flat
Ready to build? Most properties in Victoria’s residential and rural zones are set to go without needing a planning permit. Just remember, crossing your t’s with a building permit is non-negotiable.



Embarking on the journey of building a granny flat in Victoria comes with its fair share of questions. With the new regulations in place, you might be wondering about everything from who can live in your newly built space to the specifics of development contributions. Whether you’re a homeowner, builder, or just curious about the process, this FAQ section below covers the essentials you need to know to ensure your project aligns with the latest legal requirements.

Who can live in a small second dwelling?

Anyone can occupy a small second dwelling. It’s suitable for rental, short-term accommodation, or family use, adhering to standard residential tenancy requirements.

How is the floor area for a small second dwelling measured?

The total floor area, capped at 60 square metres, is measured from the external walls’ outer side or the centre of shared walls, inclusive of all roofed sections.

Can existing structures like garages be converted into small second dwellings?

Yes, conversions are allowed if they meet the definition of a small second dwelling and comply with relevant planning and building regulations.

Are ‘tiny homes’ considered small second dwellings?

‘Tiny homes’ may qualify if they adhere to the specific planning and building criteria. Local laws and regulations must also be considered.
What are the siting, design, and amenity requirements?

These are detailed in Clause 54 of the planning scheme and Part 5 of the Building Regulations 2018, focusing on residential zones and other areas respectively.

What about the minimum garden area requirement?

This requirement must be met in the Neighbourhood Residential Zone and certain General Residential Zone lands when constructing or extending a small second dwelling.

Is vegetation removal to build a granny flat allowed?

A planning permit may be necessary to remove, destroy, or lop vegetation, including trees or shrubs, on your property.

Can you build on an easement?

Easements may restrict building on that portion of the land due to utility infrastructure. It’s recorded on the property’s Certificate of Title.

What if you want to connect to reticulated gas?

Small second dwellings are not permitted to connect to a reticulated natural gas supply in line with Victoria’s Gas Substitution Roadmap.

Can you still build a dependent person’s unit?

While dependent person’s units have similar functions to small second dwellings, the latter doesn’t have restrictions on tenancy and must meet updated planning requirements.

What happens to existing granny flats or dependent person’s units?

Lawful existing units remain valid and are not required to conform to new small second dwelling standards unless their use changes.

What about agreements and covenants on the land?

Section 173 agreements and restrictive covenants may impose conditions or limitations affecting the development of a small second dwelling.

The shift in regulations is a game-changer for homeowners in Victoria looking to expand their property’s potential. From additional living space to a smart investment – the possibilities are endless. If you’re diving into this project, let’s talk! We’re here to ensure your granny flat journey is smooth, compliant, and rewarding.