We have answered a lot of common questions bellow, but if there is anything you would like to know more about feel free to ask.

What does a Surveyor do?

Surveyor are involved in many aspects of development.

Cadastral Surveyors are registered with the Surveyors Board to undertake surveys in relation to title boundaries. Cadastral Surveyors are the experts in relation to the requirements and consequences of reconfiguring title boundaries. Town planning approval is only part of the process. All the State Laws in relation to the boundary reconfiguration also need to be navigated such as the Land Act, Land Title Act, Body Corporate, Community management Act, Survey Mapping Infrastructure Act, etc.

Land Surveyors are important in relation to spatially positioning features and structures on site.

Land Surveyors can assist with the reinstatement of your property boundaries, locating and setting out buildings, contours and detail surveys, building height calculations, lease surveys, civil construction and mining surveys.

To read more about the services we offer please click here.

What is an Identification Survey?

An Identification Survey is more commonly referred to as an Ident.

The most common survey relating to the purchase and financing of properties is an Identification Survey. . It may only be undertaken by a Registered Surveyor.

We recommended that you have an Ident survey done when you are purchasing a property. An Ident Survey will ensure that you are buying the property that you have been shown and whether the property has any defects which may devalue it.

A Surveyor will check for the existence of Easements (for drainage, etc.), Covenants and Restrictions on land use, and compliance with the terms of these conditions. A surveyor will also note any encroachments by or upon the land or upon any Easements.

“Buyer beware” applies to all land transactions. An Ident can give you a peace of mind about your investment. Our licensed and registered surveyors will provide you with confidence in the accuracy of your property boundaries, structures and infrastructure.

What are single-unit dwellings?

To achieve a broader spectrum of housing types Brisbane Council supports the development of single-unit dwellings.

Single-unit dwellings are attached/detached units on individual freehold titles, where as multi-unit dwellings are subject to ‘community title’. A single-unit dwelling should not be confused with a small lot house.

Single-unit dwellings are supported in the Character Residential Area (CR), Low-Medium Density Residential Area (LMR), Medium Density Residential Area (MR) and High Density Residential Area (HR).

To see if your property qualifies for the development of single-unit dwellings in the Brisbane City Council please refer to checklist below:

* Property is located in Character Residential Area (CR), Low-medium Density Residential Area (LMR), Medium Density Residential Area (MR) or High Density Residential Area (HR),
* In the Character Residential Area (CR) and High Density Residential Area (HR) site area is a minimum of 800m² and has a minimum frontage of 20m,
* In the Low-medium Density Residential Area (LMR) and Medium Density Residential Area (MR) site area is a minimum of 600m² and has a minimum frontage of 17m.

If you think your property is suitable for single-unit dwellings please contact us for further information.

What is a multi-unit dwelling?

Council’s encourage multi-unit dwellings in higher density areas to meet present and future housing needs.

Multi-unit dwellings generally include the following:

o Apartments and units,
o Retirement villages,
o Nursing homes,
o Boarding houses,
o Hostels and other institutional accommodation,
o Residential development for people with special needs,
o Aged care accommodation.

Multi-unit dwellings are also know as multiple dwellings by other planning schemes. The preferred areas and criteria for such development vary between the Council’s.

The criteria for a multi-unit development in Brisbane are as follows:

The preferred zones are the low-medium density residential (LMR), medium density (MR) and high density (HR) areas. The site area in LMR is to be a minimum of 600m² with a minimum frontage of 17m. In MR and HR the site area is to be a minimum of 800m² with a minimum frontage of 20m. These minimum areas may be negotiable as we have been able to achieve a solution on lots down to 400m².
They may be appropriate for low density residential areas. The site area is to be a minimum of 3,000m² with a minimum frontage of 40m.
They may be considered in a character area (CR) at a maximum density of 1 unit per 300m². The site area is to be a minimum of 800m² with a minimum frontage of 20m.

In the Brisbane and Logan City Councils, proposed multi-unit dwelling developments with 10 units or less may be suitable for assessment using the RiskSMART process. We are accredited Risksmart consultants with both Councils.

What is Risksmart?

Risksmart has been implemented by some Councils to fast track development applications.

Risksmart is a quick and simple way to fast track low risk developments. Low risk developments comply with the relevant codes and have minimal impact on the neighbourhood and environment.
Some Council’s offer a discount on their application fees for Risksmart applications.
The development applications are to be prepared, certified and lodged by an accredited Risksmart consultant. The applications can usually be decided within 5 business days from the start of the decision making period.
The Brisbane City Council accepts the following applications to be lodged via their fast track system:
Industry in and industry area,
Multi-unit dwellings (10 or less units),
New houses and extensions in a Demolition Control Precinct,
Single unit dwellings (10 or less units),
Small extensions in a shopping centre,
Subdivision of land (up to 10 lots),
Prescribed tidal works.

Similarly Logan City Council accepts the following applications:
House applications,
Sheds / garages / open carports (Class 10 structures ancillary to an existing house),
Residential subdivisions (up to 10 lots),
Realignment of boundaries,
Multi-unit dwellings (10 or less units),
Dual occupancy / attached dwellings,
New houses and extensions in a Demolition Control Precinct,
Small retail developments,
Various operational works (coming soon).

Gateway Survey & Planning are accredited Risksmart consultants with both Logan and Brisbane City Councils. It should be noted that other Councils in Queensland also have their own fast track systems.

Can I rent out my granny flat?

All Councils have different Local Plans and Policies and you need to seek advice from the relevant authority.

We understand that Logan and Ipswich do not mind if houses and secondary units (if any) are rented out to more than one party or room by room, as such it appears that renting out granny flats is acceptable in these local areas. Other Council’s such as Brisbane City Council have a firm belief that you cannot as they would like to see nana and papa or other family members residing in the granny flat.

The dwelling house code and the dwelling house (small lot) code under City Plan 2014 both specify that a dwelling and secondary dwelling (if any) is to be occupied by one household. Council believes that a house leased by several people under separate lease agreements is considered “several” households and is therefore non-compliant with the intent of a dwelling house.

Under City Plan 2014 however, Council has introduced a new use referred to as “rooming accommodation” which is defined as follows:

“Premised used for the accommodation of one or more households where each resident:
• has a right to occupy one or more rooms,
• does not have a right to occupy the whole of the premises in which the rooms are situated;
• may be provided with separate facilities for private use;
• may share communal facilities or communal space, with one or more of the other residents.

It may include:
• rooms not in the same building on site; or
• provision of a food or other service; or
• on-site management or staff and associated accommodation.”

Examples of “rooming accommodation” include boarding house, monastery, hostel, off-site accommodation. It does not include hospice, community residence, dwelling house, short-term accommodation or multiple dwelling.

Rooming accommodation may be self-assessable where:
• In the appropriate zone,
• Accommodating 5 persons or less;
• Complying with all the self-assessable acceptable outcomes of the rooming accommodation code in the Brisbane City Plan 2014.

A maximum of 5 persons is supported in the low-density and character residential zones and the buildings are to have the appearance of a dwelling house.

More than 5 persons is supported in the other residential zones and some non-residential zones however will require Council approval. The development will need to show compliance with the provisions of the rooming accommodation code of the Brisbane City Plan 2014.

So it appears that Brisbane Council now supports renting a granny flat out separately under rooming accommodation.

If you would like to rent out to a maximum of 5 persons and feel that you can comply with the rooming accommodation code we recommend contacting a building certifier to obtain the necessary certificates. Otherwise you may give us a call to discuss further.

Frequently asked question?

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Frequently asked question?

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What we’ve been told

We can help you bridge the gap between plan and project

Get in touch to talk to an expert in land surveying and town planning, with superior knowledge of Brisbane and South-East Queensland.