General Information about Tiny Homes

There has been a rise in popularity and enquiries with respect to tiny homes in the Shire and more broadly in Western Australia. As cost of living increases people are looking for alternative low cost living arrangements. However, there are legislative restrictions applicable which you should be aware of.

Tiny homes can be separated into two distinct types:

1. Tiny home on wheels

2. Tiny home ‘not’ on wheels

Tiny Home on wheels

Tiny homes on wheels are ‘vehicles’ and meet the definition of a caravan as outlined below

a) a caravan is defined as a trailer (including a camper trailer) permanently fitted for human habitation in the course of a journey and

b) a trailer is defined as a vehicle designed to be drawn by another vehicle.

It is acknowledged that the design of tiny homes are often to a higher specification and quality as compared to a traditional caravan, but given tiny homes meet the definition of a ‘vehicle’ there is no distinction between them.

Within the Shire of Mundaring, tiny homes on wheels are not permitted to be used as a permanent means of habitation (such as a dwelling) on properties that are not approved as a Caravan Park.

Tiny Home not on wheels

Planning legislation and the National Construction Codes (NCC) do not stipulate a minimum floor area required for a class 1a habitable dwelling. However, there are both planning and building requirements that would need to be satisfied in order for a proposal to be considered:

Planning approval required under Local Planning Scheme No.4 (LPS4) 

If located in a bushfire prone area a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) report and Bushfire Management Statement (BMS) is to be submitted with the application. If vegetation removal is required, such as an Environmental Asset Inspection (EAI).

A tiny home is to comply with the National Construction Codes (NCC) and the Shires Health Local Laws 2003, which includes but is not limited to the following:

  • A tiny home must include a kitchen, bathroom and laundry.
  • Minimum ceiling heights of 2.4m for conditioned rooms (i.e. living rooms, bedrooms, etc.) and 2.1m for un-conditioned rooms (bathrooms, WC, laundry, kitchen, etc.).
  • Be connected to sewer or a suitable approved on-site effluent disposal system.
  • Be connected to electricity and water (including hot water).
  • Comply with energy efficiency requirements.
  • Demonstrate compliance with bushfire construction specifications.
  • Comply with mechanical ventilation requirements (bathrooms/toilets).
  • Toilet doors to be outward opening or include lift-off hinges.
  • Engineering Certification for the structure which includes ground connection details, and
  • Comply with sanitation requirements as set out below.

• adequately lined with an impervious material and has an adequate ceiling
• is equipped with: wash basin; and either a shower in a shower recess or a bath
• floor of the bathroom shall be of concrete or other approved impervious material
• floor waste in wet areas; and
• mechanically ventilated and externally flumed

• enclosed and roofed
• adequately lined with an impervious material
• mechanically ventilated and externally flumed; and
• wash troughs, sinks and washing machines provided in a laundry and connected to an adequate supply of hot and cold water

• ‘cooking facility’ includes a stove, oven, sink, facility or appliance used for, or in connection with the cooking of food

A private Building Surveyor must certify applications for a building permit for any tiny home.

A tiny home could be defined as a ‘Single House’ or an ‘Ancillary Dwelling’. Under LPS4, there are limitations on the number of dwellings permitted on certain properties, dependent on zoning.

Tourism Development/s

Tiny homes on wheels are caravans and therefore cannot be approved as tourism development, unless associated with an approved caravan park.

Where a tiny home is not on wheels, the Shire has discretion to consider these on their merits, subject to an assessment against the relevant planning and building legislation.

Requirements to submit a planning application

To lodge a planning application for a Tiny Home (not on wheels) the following is required:

  • Form 1 – Application for Planning Approval
  • Copy of Certificate of Title from Landgate (less than 6 months old)
  • Site Plan to scale (indicating all boundaries, existing and proposed buildings, boundaries)
  • Floor Plan to scale
  • Elevation plans to scale
  • Bushfire Information (BAL and BMS if located in a bushfire prone area)
  • Environmental information (if required); and
  • A cover letter or compliance statement outlining how the proposal will meet the requirements set out under the National Construction Code and Health Local Law 2003.

The above is a guide only and does not limit the ability of the Shire to request additional plans and supporting information/documents.

In Person or Post: Shire of Mundaring Administration: 7000 Great Eastern Highway, Mundaring

Please call the planning service on 9290 6740 if you have any queries.