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Minor Dwellings

With the recent changes and exemptions in relation to building consents, we have received a large increase in the amount of inquires for minor dwellings, so what better time than now to give you all the information you should need to decide whether a minor dwelling is the right investment for you.




Recent changes to the building consent process now means that a building consent is not required for a standalone structure up to 30m2 in size.


Single-storey detached buildings include sleepouts, sheds, greenhouses and other similar structures can be built without a building consent. Kitchen and bathroom facilities are not included in the exemption. Any plumbing work to a new or current building still requires a building consent, and any electrical work will still have to be carried out by a registered electrician.

Options include:

  • Kitset or prefab buildings with a maximum floor area of 30 square metres where a manufacturer or supplier has had the design carried out or reviewed by a Chartered Professional Engineer.

  • Buildings with a maximum floor area of 30 square metres where a Licensed Building Practitioner is to carry out or supervise design and construction

  • Buildings with a maximum floor area of 30 square metres can be built by a non-professional, where only lightweight materials with structural components built in accordance to Building Code compliance B1/AS1 are used.


As always, we recommend engaging a licensed building practitioner to carry out the work as this provides you with peace of mind and should include any guarantees the company provides.


This does not limit the size of a minor dwelling to 30m2 but it will require consent if it breaks the 30m2 threshold - A minor dwelling must not be larger than 60 or 65 square metres, depending on the site, with the maximum habitable area not exceeding 65 square metres for it to be considered a minor dwelling. “Garaging and outdoor living space is in addition to the maximum 65 square metre size of the minor dwelling itself.

The different requirements will depend on the zoning of the area where the site is located.




As we have stated in previous blog posts, the need to work from home is becoming common practice, so the exemption of standalone dwellings up to 30m2 means that a separate dwelling to use as an office or a retreat for the kids has become a lot easier to achieve.


And for larger families, consented minor dwellings provide a straightforward solution for those who require more space and accommodation. There is exceeding interest in smaller housing and minimalism, so this option caters to those individuals along with the first home buyer. For most, it is an investment strategy that leads them to build a second dwelling, as they may choose to subdivide their property and create a rental to provide passive income.


Whatever your reason for wanting to construct a minor dwelling, get in touch with our team to go over your options and create a plan that's right for you!




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