Forum: Do seniors rules allow landlords too?


Does a unit built for seniors or people with disabilities have to be occupied by members of those groups or is it enough for it to be owned by one, asks a Flatchatter.

Just winding that back a little, there’s a wrinkle in NSW state planning law called the State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing for Seniors or People with a Disability). 

Previously it was called “SEPP (Seniors Living) 2004” and before that, from 1982, as SEPP 5.

It’s a policy that allows developers considerable leeway both on where they can build and a 20 per cent boost to the projects’ floor space ratios – basically the number of unitsthat can be built on the same footprint.

The clear proviso is that these units are for the over-55s and people with disabilities.  The eased restrictions mean developers can build the units and sell them for lower prices.

The downside for investors is that the potential tenant pool is restricted to members of those groups.

And that’s why our Flatchatter, who’s having trouble letting his unit, asked if it was enough for him to be a senior, then let it out to anyone who applied. The clear answer is a resounding “no”.

Planning NSW’s advice to councils on Seniors Housing says this: “SEPP Seniors Living Housing can be occupied only by seniors (aged 55 year or over) or people with a disability, people who live with them or staff employed to assist in the administration of and provision of services to housing provided under the policy. The Policy requires that consent authorities impose a condition of consent which restricts occupancy to these groups.”

OK, that’s cleared up.  But what can our Flatchatter do when he’s sitting with an empty flat and no qualified applicants to rent it.

The answer may lie with one of the NDIS-approved agencies that take over the tenancy of a unit and sublet it to someone in need.  The landlord gets a guaranteed rent and the agency does all the heavy lifting in matching tenants with the accommodation.

Google ‘NDIS letting” to see what’s available.

You can read the original question HERE.

Elsewhere in the Forum

  • How do you deal with being bullied because you objected to a strata committee spending plan that’s HERE.
  • Do low-rise apartment blocks have to display emergency evacuation procedure plans?  That’s HERE.
  • Who is responsible for isolated (non-networked) smoke alarms?  That’s HERE.
  • A non-financial owner can’t vote at an AGM, but can they call one?  That’s HERE.
  • Can NSW proxy holder pass on the excess votes when they are over the limit of one per 20 per cent of the owners? That’s HERE.
  • What exactly are contents and what are fixtures when it comes to insurance? That’s HERE.

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