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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,385

    Default Tiny mobile house/room

    A client has recently asked me about a new purchase of theirs, an odd shaped property with significant backyard space that the tenants aren't maintaining and don't really want. He would like to put one or two 'mobile tiny houses' on the back - effectively trailers or caravans, but they look like a cabin.

    It's a cross lease section, but it's his understanding (and logically makes sense) that mobile objects such as this don't need to go on the flats plan, avoiding the neighbour consent issue.

    I advised he contact his lawyer or possibly a surveyor to determine the legality, but also thought I'd ask here for my own interest.

    He obviously couldn't rent these separately, but could probably significantly increase rental yield on the property if renting to a larger family group, either as additional bedrooms or extra living space. The units start from less than $20k, so even on a $40k one if you could get an extra $100 per week it's a 12.5% yield. Plus, from an accounting perspective they're probably not 'buildings' so would be depreciable; though I'd need to look into that one further.

    Has anyone looked into doing anything like this? Any legal blocks? Much upside? What do tenants think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    183

    Default

    I asked Christchurch Council. I got 2 phone calls. The first said it's a building which needs resource and building consent. The second was adamant it's a vehicle and doesn't come under their jurisdiction. I got the second reply confirmed by email.

    I think it's a grey area that no one is entirely sure of, only time will tell. If your client is in chch, there's lot of options for minor dwellings, especially under the new proposed district plans.

    I'll be spending $100k approx on a 2 bed house for the back of a section. All legit, able to be rented to anyone, uses up otherwise wasted land. No subdivision necessary.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,385

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by andyp2010 View Post
    I asked Christchurch Council. I got 2 phone calls. The first said it's a building which needs resource and building consent. The second was adamant it's a vehicle and doesn't come under their jurisdiction. I got the second reply confirmed by email.

    I think it's a grey area that no one is entirely sure of, only time will tell. If your client is in chch, there's lot of options for minor dwellings, especially under the new proposed district plans.

    I'll be spending $100k approx on a 2 bed house for the back of a section. All legit, able to be rented to anyone, uses up otherwise wasted land. No subdivision necessary.

    Should have mentioned, Auckland house, Auckland council, mixed urban/ apartments zoning so no density restrictions, but I'm more interested in it from a "are they buildings" and flats-plan issue perspective, as well as any RTA problems.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by andyp2010 View Post
    In chch, there's lot of options for minor dwellings, especially under the new proposed district plans.

    I'll be spending $100k approx on a 2 bed house for the back of a section. All legit, able to be rented to anyone, uses up otherwise wasted land. No subdivision necessary.
    Are these options for minor dwellings in Chch something new? Are they moving away from the Granny Flat restrictions (i.e. can only house a dependent in one)?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    183

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthonyacat View Post
    Should have mentioned, Auckland house, Auckland council, mixed urban/ apartments zoning so no density restrictions, but I'm more interested in it from a "are they buildings" and flats-plan issue perspective, as well as any RTA problems.
    As far as I've seen on the tiny house fb pages, it's one big grey area everywhere in NZ. No one really knows, it's not been tested legally, councils don't know which way to go.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    183

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ripeka View Post
    Are these options for minor dwellings in Chch something new? Are they moving away from the Granny Flat restrictions (i.e. can only house a dependent in one)?
    Reasonably new. Have a look at minor dwellings in the district plan and proposed district plan.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Friends of ours did some research for their own purposes recently. Apparently you can buy them 'readymade' on top of a trailer, although he is pretty handy and was going to build his own. As long as they are on a flatbed/ trailer and technically 'mobile' there is no consent required. This was in CHC/ Waimak but the people selling the 'readymade' were operating all over NZ so I presume the rules (or lack thereof) are the same everywhere. I wouldn't be surprised as it's such a new idea/ movement (at least as far as hitting the mainstream goes) and councils aren't exactly known for their forward thinking and responsiveness in these areas.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    478

    Default

    Christchurch council published an article about a year ago saying they were going to start clamping down on minor dwellings. Are you going to have any plumbing in it? Toilets are difficult. You aren't allowed composting toilets in areas in Christchurch that have access to the town sewers.

    LJ

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,385

    Default

    I asked about plumbing too - he suggested a system he's recently heard of called Saniflow or Sanipump or something. Basically cuts up waste material and pumps it through a little pipe. Gives a new meaning for the shit hitting the fan!

    Requires electricity (but can be run from a main dwelling) and piping but not 'plumbing'.

    Don't know how good it is, or legal status in an outbuilding.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    292

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye View Post
    Christchurch council published an article about a year ago saying they were going to start clamping down on minor dwellings. Are you going to have any plumbing in it? Toilets are difficult. You aren't allowed composting toilets in areas in Christchurch that have access to the town sewers.

    LJ
    There are plenty of campervan/caravan models that have their own toilets, so I dont see how a tiny house on a trailer (effectively a caravan) would be subject to different rules.


 

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