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The Victorian Government has made it easier to build a small second home in residential and rural areas across Victoria – giving families more housing choice and boosting housing supply.

Making it easier to build a small second dwelling brochure:

Changes to the planning and building systems

To make it easier to build a small second home, the Victoria Planning Provisions, all planning schemes and the building regulations have changed.

Following the Victorian Government’s Housing Statement: The decade ahead 2024-2034, a small second home up to 60 square metres, also known as a granny flat, secondary dwelling or an accessory dwelling unit, no longer requires a planning permit in most cases where there are no flooding, environmental or other special planning controls.

A small second home still requires a building permit, to meet siting, amenity, design and safety requirements – and cannot be subdivided or separately sold off from the main home.

On 14 December 2023, Amendment VC253 made changes to the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes, and the Building Amendment (Small Second Dwellings) Regulations 2023 made changes to the Building Regulations 2018 to coordinate the approval processes to build a small second home.

Find out more about the updated planning and building framework:

Definition of a small second home

A small second home is a dwelling that is 60 square metres or less with a kitchen, bathroom and toilet, located on the same lot as an existing home.

A small second home must not be connected to reticulated natural gas and does not require a car parking space.

Occupancy of small second homes

Anyone can live in or rent-out a small second home, including a family member, dependent person or unrelated persons.

The residential tenancy requirements that apply to a home also apply to a small second home, including room sizes, facilities and smoke alarms. More information is available from Consumer Affairs Victoria.

Building a small second home: location and permits

A small second home can be built on most properties in residential and rural zones without a planning permit.

A building permit is always required.

Find out more about the requirements that apply and how to get started:

More information

Information about Planning Scheme Amendment VC253 is at Amendment VC253.

Information about planning permit requirements for siting, design and amenity can be found in the Planning Practice Note 27: Understanding the residential development provisions.

Information about the planning requirement for garden areas can be found in the Planning Practice Note 84: Applying the minimum garden area requirement.

Information about the building permit requirements for siting, design and access can be found in the Minister’s Guideline MG-12:Siting and design of single dwellings.The report includes information on consent considerations relevant to the siting, design and access requirements for a building permit for a single dwelling and a small second dwelling.

Information about when a building permit is required, can be found at BP01: When is a building permit required?

Consumer Affairs Victoria can provide you with information about how Victoria's rental laws may apply to you.

Page last updated: 15/01/24