Granny Flat Regulations in South Australia: A Comprehensive Guide 2024

In South Australia, granny flats (also known as ancillary dwellings) have become an increasingly popular housing option. The state government has introduced streamlined processes to make it easier for property owners to build these secondary dwellings. This article will break down the current regulations and requirements for building a granny flat in South Australia.

Recent Changes in 2023

The most significant change in 2023 is the relaxation of rental restrictions. According to the new regulations:

“Amended regulations now ensure all existing ancillary accommodation can be leased or rented out, potentially bringing hundreds of new homes to the rental market.”

What does this mean for you? You can now rent out your granny flat to anyone, not just family members. This applies to both new and existing granny flats, even if your current Development Approval states otherwise.

Basic Requirements for Building a Granny Flat

To build a granny flat in South Australia, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Minimum property size: Your property must be at least 600 square meters.
  2. Maximum floor size: The granny flat can have a maximum floor area of 60 square meters.
  3. Room limit: You can have a maximum of two rooms, with one potentially being a bedroom.
  4. Shared services: The granny flat must share all services with the main house (power, water, sewer, and driveway).
  5. Private open space: You must provide at least 20 square meters of private open space.

How Do I Know If I’m Allowed to Build a Granny Flat on My Property?

Before you start planning your granny flat, it’s crucial to determine if your property is suitable for this type of development. Here’s how you can find out:

  1. Check your property’s zone: You must meet the specific regulations for the “zone” your property is in. Different zones may have different requirements or restrictions for granny flats.
  2. Contact your local Council: Call your local Council and ask to speak with the ‘duty planner’. They can provide information about your property’s zoning and any specific requirements or restrictions that apply.
  3. Look up your address online: You can check your property’s zoning and applicable regulations by visiting the PlanSA website. Enter your address to see what regulations apply to your property.
  4. Understand “deemed-to-satisfy” criteria: Each zone has its own “deemed-to-satisfy” criteria. Meeting these criteria can streamline your approval process.
  5. Consult a professional: If you’re unsure about interpreting the regulations, consider consulting a Planning Consultant. These professionals are well-versed in local Development Plans and can provide expert guidance.

Zoning and “Deemed-to-Satisfy” Rules

Some basic “deemed-to-satisfy” rules include:

Remember, even if your property meets all the general requirements for a granny flat, specific zoning regulations may affect what you can build. Always verify your plans with the local authorities before proceeding with your project.

New Planning Rules for Master Planned Zones

Recent changes have been made to the regulations for granny flats in Master Planned Zones. Here are some key points:

  1. Street setback:

“Amend the existing primary street setback requirements from 3 metres to 5 metres”

What does this mean for you? Your granny flat must be set back at least 5 meters from the primary street, ensuring a more spacious front yard.

  1. Living room window:

“Requirement for a living room window to face street frontage or open space”

What does this mean for you? Your granny flat’s living room must have a window that faces either the street or an open space, promoting natural light and a connection to the outdoors.

  1. Flooding precautions:

“Finished floor level must be 300 millimetres above highest point of kerb of primary street in the Hazards (Flooding) Overlay, Hazards (Flooding — Evidence Required) Overlay and the Hazards (Flooding — General) Overlay”

What does this mean for you? If your property is in a flood-prone area, the floor of your granny flat must be raised to protect against potential flooding.

  1. Parking considerations:

“Setback for garages and carports to allow for two carparking spaces (including limitations on garage door width)”

What does this mean for you? You need to ensure there’s enough space for two cars to park, which may affect the placement of your granny flat on the property.

  1. Driveway restrictions:

“Restrictions on driveway width where site has a frontage of 10 metres or less”

What does this mean for you? If your property has a narrow frontage, there are limits on how wide your driveway can be, which could impact the design of your granny flat and its access.

The Approval Process

To build a granny flat, you’ll need to obtain Development Approval. This involves two main steps:

  1. Planning Consent: A certifier will evaluate the impact of your granny flat on the surrounding area, considering factors like location, appearance, open space, and setbacks.
  2. Building Rules Consent: A Building Certifier will assess the structural suitability, fire safety, health considerations, disabled access, and energy efficiency of your proposed granny flat.

You can lodge your application through the SA Planning Portal, where you’ll find a checklist of required documentation.


Building a granny flat in South Australia can be a great way to add value to your property or provide additional housing options. With the recent changes allowing rentals to non-family members, granny flats have become an even more attractive option for property owners. Always ensure you’re working with the most up-to-date regulations and consult with your local council or a planning consultant if you have any doubts about the process.

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