Temporary homes

If you wish to allow someone to live in a temporary home for short-term accommodation on your property, you may need to apply to Council for approval. A temporary home can be a tent, or registered vehicle such as:

  • caravan
  • car
  • campervan
  • motorhome
  • trailer on wheels (tiny home or portable home). 

When is approval not required

Approval is not required for:

  • temporary homes that are unoccupied and merely being stored on private land.
  • a person or family to occupy a temporary home on another person's property if they meet the minimum standards.

To determine if you meet the requirements or if Council approval is needed, review the self-assessable checklist(PDF, 652KB).

Notification to local government

If your temporary home is self-assessable, the owner or occupier of the permanent dwelling must notify Council within 7 days from the start of the occupancy. To notify Council, submit a notification to local government form.

How long can you occupy a self-assessable temporary home

A registered vehicle used as a temporary home can be occupied for up to 42 days within any 12-month period. This period can consist of either 42 consecutive days or multiple shorter periods totalling up to 42 days over the year.

A tent can be occupied for up to 96 consecutive hours.

When approval is required

Temporary home - registered vehicle

If your temporary home is unable to meet the minimum standards an application may be submitted for short term accommodation if the:

  • temporary home will only be occupied for up to 6 months and within that time, the applicant will:
    • erect or convert an existing building on an allotment into a permanent dwelling; or
    • carry out building work on a permanent dwelling on an allotment that will make the dwelling temporarily unfit for residential occupancy
  • temporary home will be occupied on the same allotment as the permanent dwelling
  • allotment on which the temporary home will be occupied is 3000 square metres or larger
  • temporary home is a registered vehicle.

You need to apply with all supporting documentation at least 30 business days before you need to occupy a temporary home.

Once all supporting documents have been provided, your application will be reviewed and assessed under the Temporary Homes Local Law 2023.

How to apply

Step 1.Prepare a site plan

Provide a detailed site plan showing the location of the proposed temporary home and setbacks. 

Setbacks from the front, rear and side boundaries of the allotment, measured from the outermost projection of the temporary home for:

  • residential allotments, a minimum of 1.5 metres.
  • rural or rural residential allotments, the greater of 4.5 metres or the distance required to ensure the temporary home is contained within the development footprint.

Setbacks must be at least 1.8 metres from the permanent dwelling on the allotment. This is measured from the outermost projection of the temporary home to the external wall or veranda posts of the permanent dwelling. 

Step 2.Complete a risk management plan

Complete the risk management plan template.

Step 3.Collect supporting documents

If applicable, you will also need to provide a:

  • copy of the building approval for the permanent dwelling, together with the expected date of completion.
  • copy of a current vehicle registration certificate, valid for the duration of the proposed occupancy.

Step 4.Review the conditions

Make sure you review and understand the conditions of a temporary home(PDF, 376KB). Specific conditions may be added after your application has been assessed.

Step 5.Review the fees and charges

In accordance with Council's fees and charges, an application fee of T1206 is payable at the time of your application.

Step 6.Submit an application

Download and complete the temporary home application(PDF, 874KB) form and submit with supporting documents:

Temporary homes that may need other approvals

Approval to live in a shed

If you would like to occupy a shed, you will need building approval from a private building certifier. The certifier will assess the work and grant building approval if it meets relevant legislation and standards. It is the property owner's responsibility to ensure they have all required permits before starting building work.

Tiny or modular homes that are mounted on a slab, stumps, or other permanent structure

Call Council on (07) 3205 0555 to discuss approvals that may be required for permanent tiny or modular homes.