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Learning & Resources

When is a dwelling ancillary?

By Alex Wood

04 September 2019

A building is ancillary to a dwelling when it is additional to, but not required for the dwelling to function: the dwelling can operate perfectly well without it.

A dwelling requires the following features: a bedroom, living space, kitchen, bathroom, toilet and washbasin, and laundry. (Many dwellings can also include other optional features such as a study, studio, recreation or hobby room, or garage.)

  • If one of more of these required features are missing, then that building is ancillary.
  • If one of more of these required features are missing AND the building is used for sleeping in, then that building is an ancillary dwelling.

For example, the following are ancillary buildings:

  • A home office with a kitchenette.
  • A studio with a bathroom.
  • A hobby room or workshop.
  • A recreation room with a toilet and washbasin.
  • A garage.

And the following are ancillary dwellings:

  • A granny flat with a bedroom, living space, kitchenette, bathroom, and toilet.
  • A sleepout with a bedroom only.
  • A bunkhouse with a bathroom and toilet.

If an additional building has all the required features of a dwelling, it’s no longer ancillary because it can function independently of the main dwelling, so it becomes a second dwelling.

Check out our infographic for a nice visual breakdown of this information.

Author

Alex Wood

Building Surveyor

Alex is a fully qualified and licensed Building Surveyor (unrestricted) with experience across all sectors. He has been practising building regulation for 20 years, and is a trusted and professional operator.

awood@puddingln.com.au