Retirement

Guide to granny flat interests

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There are a number of accommodation options for older people who require assistance and may not want to live by themselves.

While residential aged care homes generally suit those with high care needs who cannot manage on their own, granny flats can be a suitable option for people looking to maintain some independence and have support and assistance from family and friends.

What is a granny flat interest?

A granny flat is often considered to be a self-contained unit connected to a family home. While this is the real estate definition of a granny flat, the Centrelink definition of a 'granny flat interest' differs. According to Centrelink, the term granny flat interest describes an agreement for accommodation for life, not a description of the type of dwelling. A granny flat interest can include various types of living situations that help people to care for elderly family members.

Centrelink considers a granny flat interest as one where someone:

• 'pays' for a life interest or life tenancy, and

• the life interest or life tenancy is in a private residence, that will be the person's principal home.

Centrelink also considers there to be two ways to have a lifetime right in a property:

• Life tenancy-the right to live in the property

• Life interest-the right to use and benefit from the property as the person wishes