The tiny house movement is gaining momentum, with increasing numbers of Australians adopting this affordable
lifestyle choice. A Tiny Home is a new way to build in a sustainable way. Conventional homes are fixed to the ground, but a tiny home is built on top of a steel chassis with axles, wheels, braking system and tow hitch. It is classed as a registered trailer/caravan. Unlike conventional caravans, a Tiny Home is designed to look like a small house. In order to be classed as a tiny home it must be built no larger than 2.5m wide x 4.3m high x 12.5m long. Once the tiny home is placed on a site in the location you desire, the government allows for an additional structure to be added to the side of the tiny home equal to its size whereby making the total maximum size of a tiny home as 5m wide x 4.3m high x 12.5m long. Given the allowable height, additional floor area can be utilized in the design by incorporating loft areas.The use of the Tiny Homes is governed by the Local Government Regulation 2005 (LGR 2005). Within the LGR 2005 it allows for the use of a Tiny Home without the need for council approval. This means a Tiny Home can be installed in a much quicker time frame and without the high cost of the Local Government fees and charges compared with conventional construction approaches. There are unlimited design possibilities within the size requirements available. Each tiny home can be custom designed to suit whatever purpose you have set for it. The main structure is built on either a tandem or triaxle trailer depending on size and weight. If required, an additional structure to the side can be added. This can be built on site or an additional transportable structure utilized to create the space. A local certified structural engineer is required to verify the construction and confirm the appropriate anchoring points are installed. source
Above: Designer Eco Tiny Homes of Ulladulla - Lifestyle Series 7200GB. Their largest tiny home available, the Lifestyle Series 7200GB sleeps 6 people. Ground floor queen sized bedroom, 2 x queen sized bed lofts, lounge, dining, kitchen, laundry cabinet, and bathroom. The rules of tiny living in Australia can vary between states and local councils and depend on a variety of things, like how big you’re building and whether its on wheels. There are heaps of council and federal guidelines to help you out, but there are also some basic rules you should try and keep to.
What is a tiny house?
A tiny house can be either:
• a small dwelling house under 50m2 built on the lot; or
• a small dwelling house built on a trailer (similar to a caravan). As the tiny house is built on a trailer it has
the capability of being registered under the Road Transport Act How big is a tiny house? You can roughly describe the size of a tiny home as about two 20ft shipping containers stacked on top of each other. From the ground to the roof, you can’t go any higher than 4.3 metres and no wider than 2.5 metres. As for length, tiny homes can go up to 12.5 metres. In order to legally tow it on Australian roads, you need to keep it under 4.5 tonnes.
Tiny homes on wheels are what many people are opting toward. The primary reason people are putting them on trailers is that the moment it’s on a trailer or on wheels, it's no longer a building, it's not a permanent structure - therefore building codes and permits don't apply. Why Tiny Houses? Tiny dwellings can be designed and built using green principles and provide affordable housing whilst minimising
the urban footprint.
They are emerging in varying forms and locations, such as granny flats (or secondary dwellings) to complement existing housing, groupings of dwellings in established urban areas, converted sheds and beach shacks on larger, isolated properties, and in mobile caravan formats.
In each case, in NSW, you need to be mindful of the approvals and design requirements of existing State Government and local Council planning controls.
Is approval from Council required for a tiny house (not on wheels) built on the lot?
Council’s primary planning documents for new dwelling developments are the Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP).
While these controls have been formulated for conventional forms of housing, many of the zoning, site and design
requirements are still relevant to most forms of compact and tiny homes.
Tiny houses would need to meet the relevant Development Controls. Council requires a development application
or complying development certificate and other related applications (construction certificate, driveway, water and sewer connection) to assess and certify these proposals.
Secondary dwellings are a popular way to establish a tiny house to complement an existing home. Council requires
a development application and other related applications (construction certificate, driveway, water and sewer
connection) to assess and certify these proposals. Secondary dwellings are a popular way to establish a tiny house to complement an existing home. Council requires a development application and other related applications (construction certificate, driveway, water and sewer connection) to assess and certify these proposals.
Above: Some great ideas for Tiny Houses Is approval from Council required for a tiny house on a trailer? In most cases, if a tiny house is RMS registered as a trailer, no DA approval is required to put it in your backyard or on your property, if you meet certain exemptions. In summary, NSW legislation may permit you to have no more than two caravans, campervans or tents if you plan for someone to stay in them for a short-term (up to 48 hours at a time) for no more than 60 days a year. Or you can have no more than one caravan, campervan or tent if you plan to have someone that is a member of your household live in it on a long-term basis, only when you have an approved dwelling house already on the lot. The tiny house is to be maintained in a safe and healthy condition. Or if you plan to use it on pastoral or agricultural land, so long as it is merely occupied seasonally by persons employed in pastoral or agricultural operations on the land. The advantage of wheels is a vast majority of people are already going under the radar and just renting a spot of land from a farmer somewhere. The worst case scenario is that if you are busted you can just say sorry, you didn't know the rules and move your home somewhere else. It does pay to keep your tiny home road worthy.