Misleading advertising of Granny flat not suitable for living use.

Non-legal living rooms. Ceiling height of sub-floor granny flat was 250mm below building code requirement of 2.4metres for a habitable area. The prospective buyer was mislead into believing he could rent out a non-legal living area to help pay off the mortgage. Without spending too much money on it, WRONG! 

Non-compliant ventilation and clearance between soil and sub-floor timber.

The sub-floor has insufficient ground clearance and no ventilation. The bearers must have at least 400mm clearance between their underside and any soil to avoid rot and possible termite access also damage. Cross flow ventilation is also required to conform with building code requirements also to avoid dry-rot.

Problems associated with this house & non-habitable sub-floor area:

  • Structures being used for other than their Council approved purpose may not be covered by insurance.
  • Treatment against termites cannot be effectively carried out, with guarantees.
  • Drains and waterproofing cannot be effectively fitted to avoid water entry and rising damp.
  • Sub-floor rooms cannot legally be used as habitable areas, if non-compliant.

How non-legal living rooms can affect your house and resale:

  • Allow a potential buyer to offer a lower price, if misled by false advertising regarding approvals.
  • May not be covered by insurance if something of a serious nature goes wrong.
  • Council may request removal of non-compliant structures.
  • Can cause problems with termites and dry-rot.

Non-legal living rooms, effective elimination of the above problems:

  • Remove all the sub-floor walls, floor and framing (below the upper level floor).
  • Replace them with stumps.
  • Remove and rebuild the sub-floor area in accordance with Building Code & Council requirements.

Also worth knowing about this particular purchase.

The buyer was also not made aware of the building being heritage listed (with additional restrictions) before he signed the contract!

ABCB: Ceiling height requirements for habitable areas

ABCB: Dampcourse barrier requirements to external brick walls

Cornell Engineers: Vapour Barriers below slabs

For independent Building Inspections Brisbane in all suburbs, Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service. qbis.com.au