Dual Dwellings on One Title: Calculating Your Land Needs


Faisal Nadeem

Understanding Two Dwellings On single property

When investing in property, understanding the concept of two dwellings on one title is essential. Essentially, this means having two separate homes on the same piece of land that share one title. Before jumping into this type of property investment, you need to know how it works and what it means for your investment strategy.

What Is A Dual Occupancy Home?

A dual occupancy home is a type of property with two separate dwellings on the same piece of land. These homes share one title and can come in many forms, including duplexes, granny flats, and other types of multi-dwelling properties. This setup is ideal for families or investors, offering the flexibility of having two separate homes that are non-adjoining yet connected under a single title.

How Does Two Dwellings On One Title Work?

Owning a property with two dwellings on one title gives you multiple options. You can live in both homes, rent out both properties, or live in one and rent the other. This flexibility allows you to maximize the use of your land and make the best choice for your lifestyle or investment needs.

What Are The Benefits Of Two Dwellings On One Title?

Having two dwellings on one title offers many benefits. It gives you streams of income from rental properties. If you decide to live in one home, you can earn rental income from the other, which can help cover expenses and pay off your mortgage faster.

Investing in two homes on one property is more affordable than buying two separate properties. This approach helps make your purchase more affordable and allows you to invest in real estate. You can also decide to live in one of the dwellings and rent the other, making it easier to cover your mortgage and other expenses.

If you are looking to buy a property, consider the benefits of having two dwellings on one title. This setup not only offers multiple income streams but also provides flexibility. You can live in one and rent the other, or even rent both to maximize your earnings.

In summary, buying two homes on a single property can give you a great return on investment and help make homeownership more affordable. It is a smart investment strategy that can benefit you in many ways.

What Should You Consider Before Investing In Two Dwellings On One Title?

Before investing in two dwellings on one title, it’s crucial to understand local zoning laws and regulations. Different areas have various restrictions on the type of dual occupancy homes allowed, making it important to do your research.

Look into the potential rental income from both properties by examining the local rental market and get a realistic idea of what you can earn. Additionally, think about the ongoing maintenance and management required for separate dwellings, which can be more demanding than for a single property. Having a plan in place for ongoing maintenance and management is essential before investing.

Types of dual occupancy homes to consider

When choosing dual occupancy homes, there are several types to consider, each with unique features and benefits. A second dwelling on your existing property can provide additional living spaces that share a common property.

The main options include an existing house with an added unit or two separate living spaces. Each has its pros and cons, making it essential to weigh the best option for your needs. The most common choices offer practical and flexible solutions for modern living.

Granny Flats

When considering home renovations to create more space, adding a Granny flat can be a brilliant, cost-effective solution. These small, self-contained units fit perfectly in the backyard of your existing home, offering independence for elderly relatives or generating additional income as rental properties.

By providing extra living space without extensive home renovations, these separate, habitable dwellings increase the value of your property. Compliant with council guidelines, these second dwellings are a legal and smart addition.

Drawing from my own experience, starting a whole home remodel where to start was daunting, but incorporating a Granny flat simplified the process. Adhering to the rules and legal requirements, our flat was within 20 metres of the main building and under the maximum size of 80m2, with necessary parking for the secondary dwelling.

This setup provided a range of benefits, from accommodating adult children to housing tenants. According to the Brisbane Council website, such flats are an excellent choice for homeowners. Additionally, while exploring the most efficient house design, we found the average bedroom size in a maisonette apartment helpful for planning our flat.



Granny flats are incredibly versatile. They can be used for a variety of purposes. Originally long-term accommodation, they also make fantastic guest rooms or Air BNBs. Once your children have moved out or you’ve stopped renting, a granny flat can be converted into a home office, entertainment area, gym, or whatever your imagination dreams up.

Great Rental Opportunity

A granny flat is ideal for renting purposes. It offers tenants more privacy than renting a room in your home. In Queensland, guidelines have relaxed, making it easier to rent to non-family members. This is great for finding a tenant quickly.

Adds to Property Value

The benefits listed above translate well into the property market. A granny flat is a valuable feature when selling your property, attracting interest from potential buyers. The better designed your granny flat is, the more it will add to your property value.

No Planning Approval Required

Although there are rules and guidelines to follow, your proposed granny flat doesn’t need planning approval if it meets the Dwelling House Code. However, you will need to submit a development application if your planned secondary dwelling is larger than 80m2, further than 20m from your home, or if your plans don’t meet the Dwelling House Code. If you are unsure, it’s best to speak to a town planner or building certifier to confirm you’re okay to go ahead with your build.


A key issue with having 2 houses on one property is the size. Most people find a granny flat to be a tight squeeze for a larger family. The space, while cozy, can be too small for certain needs.

Duplex Homes

A duplex is a type of residential home that contains two separate homes which connect through a central wall. The floorplans vary with homes either positioned side by side or one in front of the other. Personally, I prefer side-by-side duplexes as it means no one has to walk by anyone else’s windows to get home. Duplexes offer options for settling one house yourself while selling or renting the other, or you can rent both homes.

These dwellings share a common wall and are perfect for families or investors who want to live close to each other but still maintain privacy. Duplexes can be built as single-story or double-story homes, with one dwelling upstairs and the other downstairs. This popular choice helps maximize land usage and rental income while providing separate dwellings.


Great Renting Option

A duplex is a fantastic way to start making a profit quickly. By renting out one or both houses, you have the opportunity to double your earnings. Rental properties like these are valuable, especially in the right location. They can be a financially secure investment with the potential for high returns.

Save Money

Building a duplex often costs less than constructing two separate homes. You save on extra costs like purchasing blocks of land. This makes it a more affordable investment while still providing ample housing space.

Good Resale Options

A duplex offers great flexibility when it comes to selling. You can sell the title to one of the houses, or even both if you choose. They are quite popular due to the high demand for housing. This makes them a smart choice if you’re thinking about future resale value.

Various Ownership Options

With a duplex, you have several options regarding ownership. You can have a single title for the entire building or separate titles for each house. This flexibility allows you to manage your property in a way that best suits your needs.


Proximity to Neighbours:

Living close to other houses can be tough. You might hear loud music or partying next door. Reading in the evenings could be hard with problems like these.

Living with Strangers:

If you’re renting one house, you might have strangers as neighbours. This requires diligence, patience, and research to ensure a harmonious living arrangement.

Tenant Issues:

Dual occupancy can be profitable, but it comes with risks. A tenant might not pay rent on time, leading to income loss. Empty rental properties mean maintenance expenses without rental income.

Maintenance Risks:

Keeping up with maintenance can be costly. If one house has issues, the other might also need repairs. This increases the risk and expenses of owning a rental property.

Second home on the same land

Ever thought of building 2 houses on one property? It’s definitely possible! You just need approval from the council. If your second house is 80m2 or less, it counts as a granny flat or second dwelling to your existing home. Your best options are a duplex home or a granny flat.


  • Having 2 houses on one property offers many benefits. It helps you save on land costs since buying a block of land can be very expensive. You avoid the need to purchase two separate blocks, which can save you a small fortune.
  • This setup is perfect for keeping family close. Multigenerational living is very popular these days. A second home on the same property allows closeness while still forgoing some independence.
  • There’s also a great renting opportunity. Dual occupancy provides a fantastic chance to earn rental income, especially if you’re in a desirable location.


Council Regulations

The council sets strict regulations for adding a second dwelling. These include minimum setbacks from boundaries, height restrictions, and a minimum amount of open space between dwellings.

Conditions for Approval

Approval conditions from the council can be tough. They often specify the minimum lot size and number of parking spaces needed.

Subdivision and Lot Size

To enable subdivision to occur, your property must meet the minimum lot size set by the council. Without this, adding a second dwelling can be problematic.

Open Space and Boundaries

There must be enough open space between dwellings. The council also requires minimum setbacks from property boundaries.

Height Restrictions

The council imposes height restrictions on any new dwelling. This can limit the design and size of the second house.


Living in multi-level homes like townhouses offers a perfect solution for families and investors alike. These homes often share a common wall with the other dwelling, making them a popular choice in the city. You get the convenience of low-maintenance living and can choose between a single or double-story structure, each with its own entrance.

This community lifestyle option provides the benefits of high-cost living without the expense of a standalone property.

Legal And Regulatory Considerations before building 2 houses on one property

When building two houses on one property, it’s crucial to consider legal and regulatory aspects. Ensure the title of the lot is clear before the purchase. Key factors include local zoning laws and regulatory requirements for multiple dwellings. Thoroughly understanding these considerations will ensure your project runs smoothly.

Council approval

Getting council approval for a project involving 2 houses on one property requires careful planning. Your floorplan must meet local council regulations and guidelines. The process is often complex and time-consuming, so professional advice is crucial.

To comply with all requirements, consider the size and conditions of the property. Proper subdivision and placement of dwellings are essential for approval. Ignoring relevant regulations can lead to serious consequences, so take everything into account.

Restrictions And Regulations

Purchasing a property that allows two dwellings on a single title can be an exciting opportunity. When considering this, it is important to be aware of any restrictions and regulations that might apply. For example, there may be restrictions on the use of common property, or regulations that require approval before making certain modifications.

Understanding the size of your lot plays a major role in what the council is likely to approve on your block of land. Typically, a block size of at least 450m2 is ideal to build two separate buildings, although a duplex home can fit even on narrow blocks.

Regulations for the distance between each house on a lot of land

When thinking about building two dwellings on your property, you need to check with your local council for their guidelines. These rules tell you how far apart your buildings need to be. Sometimes, you might need an exemption. For this, you’ll have to submit an application to the council.

Land orientation

When planning for dual occupancy designs like granny flats, it’s essential to consider the block of land. The way the land falls will indicate where rainwater will run off and drain. Proper stormwater management ensures runoff is collected and removed efficiently. Always check if it’s physically possible to install an easement on your block of land for this purpose.

Our tips for finding a builder to build 2 houses on one property

When choosing a builder for a dual occupancy project, consider these tips:

  • Find builders who specialise in dual occupancy projects and have completed similar projects.
  • Ensure the builder has experience and can handle potential complications.
  • Check if the builder knows your area and local requirements.
  • Verify if the builder is experienced with blocks of land like yours, especially if it’s a sloping block, narrow lot, or unusual property.
  • Talk to Buildi. We can help you find the right builder for your project.


What do you call a property with two separate houses?

A property with two separate houses, often called a duplex or twin home, features individual living spaces and a shared structure. Each unit has its own independent entrance, giving residents a sense of autonomy, while sharing utilities, utility connections, water, and electricity.

What is it called when 2 houses are together?

A duplex house plan features two living units that are attached to each other, either as townhouses, condominiums, or apartments. This arrangement allows for separate units within one property, ideal for families or rental income.

Can I build another house on my property in TN?

As a homeowner, you can build another home on your property for your residence in Tennessee. However, make sure the new construction is not intended to be sold or leased. Before starting, you must ensure you haven’t been issued a homeowner building permit in the 24 month period prior to your application. Contractor registration verification is part of the permitting process, so be prepared for that step.

Can you build multiple homes on one lot in Virginia?

In Virginia, properties are often zoned for single-family residential housing types, meaning only one dwelling per lot is allowed. However, if the property owner gets an approved Accessory Living Unit (ALU), it’s possible to have another unit on the same lot. You can find more information about ALUs on the county’s website.