The tiny living movement is growing strong, and Australia is one of the leading countries.
While millennials have tried to embrace this kind of sustainable lifestyle, states have not kept pace. One thing anyone hoping to downsize quickly finds out is that it finding a suitable location can be a headache.
You end up facing many of the same problems those looking for a regular house would face. You can’t simply buy a tiny house or RV and park it on the side of the road or on some public parking lot. Not only is that impractical, it may be illegal in many areas of the country.
So, once you have committed to living the tiny way and found a suitable house, where do you put it?
Well, the answer to this is not as straightforward as you might hope.
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What guides a tiny house location in Australia ?
1. Tiny house building regulations
Regulations differ from state to state, and in some cases from council to council within the same state. They also differ on the kind of tiny house involved.
For instance, tiny houses on wheels are not guided by the same set of laws as tiny houses on permanent foundation. They are treated as moveable dwelling i.e. a caravan.
Caravans are not regulated under the planning system. They don’t require a building permit as other types of residences. But every local council employs its own set of by-laws on their regulation.
“In some councils, there are time limits, ranging from a couple of weeks to a few months. It’s relatively difficult to navigate, as it is still a very new industry in Australia, and we will need to give our authorities some time to adjust and amend the planning regulations to accommodate Tiny Houses on Wheels as a clear legitimate, long term or secure residential housing option to live full time,” says Adrian Chia, founder of Tiny house rental company Build Tiny.
2. What the tiny house will be used for
It goes without saying that your motivation for getting the tiny house will also dictate where to put or park it. Are you seeking to make it your full-time residence? Is it a holiday getaway? Or are you buying to rent it out on sites like Airbnb?
The tiny house movement is attracting all kinds of people, and some are not in it for themselves personally, but rather cash in e.g. from tourists.
The location you eventually settle on will be guided by all these factors.
3. Land availability
Australia happens to be full of vacant land. However, this vastness can sometimes be a challenge. When you are looking for suitable land to buy or rent, it will need to be at a place where your life continues to run without a hitch. You need a place close enough to your workplace, close enough to services and other people.
On the other hand, if this is just a holiday or weekend getaway, you may be looking for exactly the opposite. Maybe somewhere completely isolated next to a lake.
Whatever your interest, you’re better off starting your search online on sites such as tinyrealestate.com.au.
At the end of the day, you will still have to talk to someone. There are no shortages of landowners willing to accommodate you on their properties.