You can keep your tiny home it in your backyard or on your property without requiring development approval, provided it can be registered with RMS as a trailer and you meet specific exemptions.
Under NSW regulations, you're allowed to:
- Have up to two caravans, campervans, or tents for short-term stays (up to 2 consecutive days) for a maximum of 60 days each year.
- Have a single caravan, campervan, or tent for a long-term household member to reside in, but only if you already have an approved dwelling (house) on the property. The tiny house must be maintained in a safe and healthy condition.
- Use it on pastoral or agricultural land, primarily during the season by individuals employed in pastoral or agricultural activities on the land.
Please note that the details in this clause may change frequently, and it's advisable to keep updated on current standards, as referenced in clause 77 of the Local Government (Manufactured Home Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds, and Moveable Dwellings) Regulation 2021.
If your tiny home on a trailer does not meet the exemptions under NSW legislation:
You'll need to adhere to the relevant Development Control Plans and address any land-specific constraints, such as those related to bushfire, flood, or land-use conflicts. This may involve submitting a Development Application (DA) or Complying Development Certificate (CDC) and other associated applications, including section 68 approval, driveway, and water and sewer connections. These applications are required for Council assessment and certification. These applications must be lodged via the NSW Planning Portal.
For rural properties, additional approvals may be necessary, like upgrading your existing on-site sewage management system (e.g., septic tank).
For properties in urban areas, you may need approvals to connect to water and sewer infrastructure, and if necessary, you may be responsible for certain contributions.
Regarding a fixed tiny home, including secondary dwellings:
Secondary dwellings are a popular choice to set up a tiny house alongside an existing home. To proceed with this type of development, you will need to obtain approval:
You can either submit a Development Application (DA) and other related applications (e.g., Construction Certificate, driveway, water and sewer connection), or in some cases, you might be eligible for a Complying Development Certificate (CDC).
Council will evaluate and certify your proposal for a permanently constructed or installed dwelling (home)/manufactured home.
To find out more about whether your tiny home proposal requires approval you can book a duty appointment.