Written for YourProperty

This week the Property Poser experts consider a few aspects relating to the building of a granny flat on a reader’s existing premises.

The reader explains that he has done extensive reading as to what may be required for an elderly person to be able to use the new dwelling and questions some of the practical aspects that may be involved in carrying out such a project.

When it comes to alterations, the immediate and long-term purpose of the new building should be considered, says Schalk van der Merwe from Rawson Properties in Somerset West, Cape Town.

“Employing the assistance of an architect would assist in designing a building that complies with applicable laws and fulfils the needs of the prospective tenant.”

Van der Merwe says the building could be designed in a way that it complements existing buildings and allows use of and access to it without inconveniencing the occupants of the main dwelling.

“While there may be a cost in using a professional person to aid in the design process, it may be offset in the future.”

A professional design could allow for aspects that would not have otherwise been considered and which may have resulted in additional costs further down the road, says Van der Merwe.

“Where the prospective tenant is elderly, one would have to consider aspects that may be relevant to that person, such as ramped access ways and rails on the walls for support.”

Again, these aspects could be designed, addressed and implemented in such a way that they do not hinder or prevent the new dwelling from being let to future tenants, perhaps with no special needs, says Van der Merwe.

“If one is converting existing buildings, perhaps a garage or outbuildings, the impact of the loss of these buildings should be considered for future resale value of the property.”

Van der Merwe says a new dwelling on the property might be quite desirable to some potential purchasers, with teenage children for example, while others would prefer to have had the secure parking and storage of a garage and outbuildings.

This is not an issue where such amenities are not being repurposed or where new garages or outbuildings are being added for these purposes, says Grant Hill of Miller Bosman Le Roux Attorneys in Somerset West.

“If this is potentially an issue, perhaps minimal internal structuring could be used so as to allow easy conversion of the new dwelling back to its original purpose.”

Hill says the practical aspects of a tenant should also be considered.

“A monthly rental may be required to cover some of the costs incurred in the new dwelling, such as water, electricity and the like.”

Depending on the manner in which the new building is situated, the tenant may have shared access to a garden and pool area, or washing lines, which may thus have a fair day to day impact on the lives of the occupants of the main building, he says.

“These aspects can be regulated by means of a lease agreement, the terms of which can set out what is to be paid and when, what means of access the tenant must use, what amenities on the premises can be used, and when they can be used.”

Where the prospective tenant is not a family member, it may be more important to regulate access to and use of the new building so that it has the least impact on the privacy of both parties, says Hill.

“The area around the new building could be screened off in a tasteful way, which could also be achieved with the assistance of an architect.”

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Issued by:

Full Stop Communications

Coetzee Gouws
082 575 7991
041 368 4992

On behalf of:

Rawson Properties Helderberg & Miller Bosman Le Roux Attorneys