flats are a type of accommodation that is built into or near a main dwelling
and are usually occupied by an older member of the family that lives in the
house. Many families find that granny flats suit their elderly members well, as
they afford both a certain amount of independence and the safety of proximity.
flats are known by several names, which vary by region or property type.
Synonymous terms include in-law apartment, garage apartment, carriage house
and, most formally, accessory dwelling unit. They differ from guest houses and
servant's quarters in that they are meant to be lived in full-time by a member
of the family.
As a matter
of fact, the ancestor of the granny flat is the dowager house. When the heir of
an estate was ready to inherit the house, the widow of the former owner would
often move to a smaller dwelling on the property. This was called the dowager
house and was meant to allow the widow to continue to live on the property she
had lived on for years and remain close to her family, while also maintaining
her independence and not feeling as though she were in the way of the new
official owners of the house. In urban areas, the dowager house gave way to the
granny flat, which is a smaller version of the dowager house and is often
physically attached to the main house. The features of granny flats differ
depending on their size and situation, but they all contain at least a bedroom
and small bathroom and some even have their own small kitchen and sitting room.
most granny flats are attached to the main house somehow. Some are simply a
suite on the ground floor of a house, sometimes with a private entrance. These
are essentially like a master bedroom, but with direct access to the outside.
Other attached granny flats are more like a guest house, complete with a small
kitchen. These are like a wing of the house, attached to the main house by a
communicating door or hallway. Besides, attics or basements are sometimes
converted into granny flats, provided that the occupant can deal with stairs.
flats, especially on older properties, are detached from the main house. Some
older houses or houses that sit on large lots have a separate granny flat out
back, usually near the end of the backyard. This offers the occupant increased
privacy and independence, while still being close enough to participate in the life
of the family and for the family to keep an eye on their family member. Another
common spot for a granny flat is above the garage. These are usually found on
garages that are detached from the house, though there are exceptions.
there are zoning laws and occupancy regulations governing granny flats, which
vary from place to place. Most communities have regulations regarding how big a
granny flat can be, whether or not extra parking is required and where a granny
flat can be located. There are also laws regarding whether or not rent can be
charged and how much. Therefore, owners of a Granny House or those looking to
build one are responsible for knowing the regulations that apply in their