Granny flat listings for private rentals are on the rise nationally. According to Flatmates.com.au, granny flat listings as private rentals increased by 16 per cent in 2016 across Australia. Perth saw the most growth with listings rising by 56 per cent in the same year.[1]

State and local governments around the country have relaxed regulations and overhauled the rules to help granny flats become smarter, more modern, and liveable. However, some state and territory local councils may still not allow granny flats to be rented by members outside the family.

Differences between granny flats and apartments

Granny flats are fast becoming a more popular choice of housing, but what’s the difference between them and an apartment? A granny flat is a self-contained dwelling, often detached from other buildings whereas an apartment is a self-contained unit that occupies part of a building.

As a detached small house, the granny flat has enough space for one (or possibly two) people. The small dwelling is generally built behind the main house and it may share a backyard with the home. In regard to space, generally granny flats are similar to apartments however regulations around the size of granny flats varies between states and territories.

Pros and cons of granny flat living                                          

There are many pros and cons to living in a granny flat, depending on each person’s individual needs.


  • Accessibility
    The detached dwelling can sometimes include its own driveway and section of yard which provides more convenient parking and outdoor space than an apartment.
  • Handyman services
    The landlords may live in the main house next door which means when things need fixing, you won’t have to go far to find help.
  • Maintenance
    Like an apartment, keeping a granny flat clean and tidy is much easier than a large house due to its small size.


  • Less space
    Like apartments, granny flats aren’t large and this can create a problem for those who have trouble downsizing. Space isn’t in large supply and you may have to consider storage options to accommodate.
  • Accessibility
    Although it can be an advantage, accessing a granny flat located in a family’s backyard may also have its challenges. Parking in the driveway may not always be a possibility.

Moving into a granny flat

Moving into a granny flay carries its own unique challenges as space and accessibility can be an issue. A crucial step in the process is downsizing and decluttering as excess furniture and possessions can take up more space than you have available.

If space is an issue, it’s important to sort through your belongings and only move in with what you really need. At Grace, we can provide you with ‘move house, make a difference’ cartons for you to fill with good quality, unwanted items and we can drop them off at your closest St Vincent de Paul Society store for you.

If you’re unable to directly access the granny flat with a vehicle, you’ll need to carry your belongings from the nearest street parking into the dwelling. This physical labour can be exhausting and risky for people who haven’t got the experience with heavy lifting.

Limited space means there might not be enough room to unpack boxes together. Correctly labelling boxes makes it easier to identify which need to be unpacked first. Once your belongings are unboxed, the debris of cardboard and packaging materials will need to be removed to avoid filling your granny flat with rubbish.

Hiring the experts
Packing, transporting, delivering and unpacking isn’t for everyone. Consider hiring the experts in removals to get the job done. Grace removalists provide a high quality service to get you settled into your new abode sooner. A member of the Grace removals team will help pack and label your boxes, using only the best quality boxing and packaging materials. They will then safely transport and deliver your belongings to your new home before unpacking your things and removing the debris.

Grace provide a range of specialist removal services from packing and delivery to pet and vehicle relocation. Whether you’re moving across the city or interstate, Grace can help you get settled into your home in no time.

[1] Data based on granny flat listings on Flatmates.com.au in 2016, https://flatmates.com.au/info/the-resurgence-of-the-granny-flat