MWa are low rise, medium density, housing specialists and this includes the type of housing known as Dual Occupancy.

Dual Occupancy in NSW is a type of residential land use, is defined in the model State Environmental Planning Policy and is included in local Council’s Local Environment Plan (LEPs) as follows:

A Dual Occupancy is:

  • a type of residential accommodation
  • dual occupancy means 2 dwellings on one lot of land that are attached to each other but does not include a secondary dwelling
  • a dual occupancy can be either dual occupancy (attached) or a dual occupancy (detached) – see the above diagram which shows the difference


So, a dual occupancy is typically two dwellings built on the same lot of land (Torrens title), owned by one owner.

This means the two dwellings cannot be separately owned or separately sold.

The two dwellings can be attached or detached, side by side or one on top of each other, and the dwellings can be one or two stories (subject to the relevant planning development controls).

We have frequent requests from prospective purchasers and clients who are interested in a Dual Occupancy, but are not exactly sure what’s permissible, possible or prudent for their site.  Refer to MWa’s article: The 3 Ps: Permissible, Possible & Prudent.

Some local council’s in Sydney permit Dual Occupancies in certain zonings

If you want to find out if a Dual Occupancy is PERMITTED on your site:

  1. confirm the land use zoning of the site is either  Zone R1  (general residential), Zone R2 (low density residential), R3 (medium density residential) – find this in your contract of sale documents, look up the LEP maps on-line or search for your property on your council website e services aka find a property
  2. confirm Dual Occupancy is permitted with consent in that zone – look up the legislation on-line


If you want to find out if a Dual Occupancy is POSSIBLE on your site, this will depend on many site specific factors and meeting the numbers development controls which apply to your site.

The most significant of these development controls is the minimum lot size of your site, which is a residential density control also found in the relevant LEP.

For example, if the minimum lot size for your site is 450sqm, this means that your site will need to be 900sqm for two dwellings to be permitted on your site as a Dual Occupancy.

If you can tick the box for both of these criteria (permissible in the zone and the area of the lot is big enough), then its worth investing in some thorough due diligence.

In some council’s in NSW the minimum sub division lot size does not apply in relation to land which is strata sub divided or community title – Refer to MWa’s article: Dual Occupancy Strata.

Dual Occupancy’s are not the same as adding a Secondary Dwelling (or a granny flat), so its also worth considering what’s permissible, possible and prudent under these seperate controls  – refer to MWa’s article: Secondary Dwellings Explained

MWa can assist in assessing the site against the development standards for the site which will apply for a Dual Occupancy and these may include minimum width, maximum height, maximum floor space ratio, setbacks, provision of open space and landscape open space, private open space, parking etc.

To find out more, talk to us on 0421 088 110 or book an Initial Consultation $400+GST.









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