Commissioner's blog: A guide to granny flats
Creating ‘one big happy family’ might be the dream when it comes to multigenerational living, but in reality there’s a lot to weigh-up before entering into a granny flat arrangement.
If you’re wondering where you’ll spend your twilight years, a granny flat interest in your adult child’s home might seem like a win-win – you can downsize to a smaller property, while being on-hand to provide and receive support from your family.
But even when families do get along well, living together can create new issues and challenges. When working out what is right for you, it is important to think long-term and to remember that this will be your ‘home for life’, so all the pieces need to fit.
With that in mind, Consumer Protection’s free and independent service, the Seniors Housing Advisory Centre (SHAC), has created a new guide about granny flats that’s aimed at helping seniors decide whether this type of arrangement would be suitable for them.
The ‘Moving in with your family’ guide examines the things seniors and their families should consider before taking that step, including the importance of having ‘hard chats’ about worst-case scenarios and working out upfront how expenses would be divided.
It’s vital that seniors protect their interests, so the guide recommends seeking expert independent legal and financial advice, and points to some useful resources that may assist along the way.
Once a decision is made to co-habit, the publication examines the next steps that should occur, including formalising the arrangement with a lawyer and examples of what should be put into writing. It also points to the importance of having ongoing regular discussions about finances, responsibilities and ‘what if’ scenarios.
Given there are so many important points to consider, a handy check-list has been included to cover many aspects of what to consider about your day-to-day living arrangements will look like and what happens if things change in the future.
The guide can be found online at www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/moving-your-family-multigenerational-living-and-granny-flat-arrangements or call SHAC on 1300 367 057 to receive a hard-copy.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection