Dependent Person's Unit

What is a Dependent Person's Unit?

A Dependent Person's Unit is a "movable building on the same lot as an existing dwelling and used to provide accommodation for a person dependent on a resident of the existing dwelling". A common term for this form of accommodation is Granny Flat.

In determining whether a Planning Permit will be required, Council must be satisfied that a potential Dependent Person's Unit achieves the following:

  • Is this building movable and if so, does it meet the following definition of movable building, which is: " a structure other than a tent, caravan or vehicle, which is designed to be moved from place to place on more than one occasion".
  • Will the building be used for the accommodation of a dependent person? This may be a person who is incapacitated by virtue of medical, economic or social disadvantage and is therefore dependent on the person in the main dwelling for their accommodation.
  • That there will be only one building on the subject lot that achieves the above definitional requirements, and that Council is satisfied that this building can be reasonably considered to be a Dependent Person's Unit.

Provided that Council is satisfied that the building achieves these criteria, a Planning Permit may not be required.

Planning and non-planning considerations

While a Planning Permit may not be required for the use or development of a Dependent Person's Unit, other controls may also affect its development and use.

These controls can be grouped as:

  • Non-planning controls: there may be other restrictions and or covenants that appear on the relevant copy of title.
  • Planning Controls: controls which that are within the Maroondah Planning Scheme. For example, relevant overlay controls or building envelopes that restrict the construction of buildings to a defined area.

Note: Specific advice in relation to planning controls should be sought from a Council Planning Officer prior to proceeding with a Dependent Person's unit.


Step 1: Check your copy of title for any relevant restrictions or any evident covenants which relate to your property; if so seek legal advice.

Step 2: Approach Council to seek advice regarding relevant planning controls, such as Planning Scheme Overlays, that may have an impact on the development of a Dependent Person's unit.

Step 3: Apply for a building permit for the construction of the Dependent Person's unit.

Please note: 

In order for a building permit to be granted, the relevant Building Surveyor must be satisfied that the proposal complies with the above criteria. Evidence of compliance with the criteria above should be easily evident from the building plans.

If you have any further questions please contact Council's Statutory Planning on Dependent Person's Unit on 1300 88 22 33 or 9298 4598.