What Is The Difference Between Dual Occupancy And Duplex?

occupancy melbourne

The dual occupancy property is an example of a typical property in which the same parcel of land is held under one title despite the presence of two distinct types of residential structures on the same lot. The term "multi-dwelling" is sometimes used interchangeably with the term "dual occupancy." On the other hand, a duplex, sometimes known as a "side-by-side" house, is a type of building that contains two separate housing units within the same physical space. This design allows for the greatest possible flexibility and a greater likelihood of realising the full potential profits from a given piece of land. When two or more properties of this kind are purchased together, they can be consolidated under a single version of the title, which might result in a higher return on certain investments than would be possible with two individual residences.

We all have heard about the duplex and dual occupancy homes. If you are still scratching your head for the difference between duplex vs dual occupancy home designs and getting confused between its similarities in its difference, you have come to imbibe the right article.

Many times, people may refer to one as the other, which can make the problem more complicated in terms of identifying the difference; yet, pointing out which one is who is pretty straightforward; one can simplify it by reducing it to these little items.

Duplex homes are by law classified as a dual occupancy meaning, “two dwellings on one title, either attached or detached”. They are different from having a secondary dwelling or granny flat situated at the back of a property.

Attached dual occupancy means two dwellings on one lot of land that is attached, but does not include a secondary dwelling.

Detached dual occupancy means two detached dwellings on one lot of land but does not include a secondary dwelling.

The duplex as well as the granny apartment It's likely that you are familiar with each of these terms. However, despite the fact that each of these three types of homes is distinct from the others, people sometimes misunderstand them. It is beneficial to have this knowledge before beginning construction on a new home. To assist you in determining which of these would be suitable for you, we have compiled a concise but in-depth guide that addresses all of the relevant issues, including the following:

duplex homes

Dual Occupancy

There are two distinct types of dual occupancies: attached and detached. Dual occupancies are often referred to as shared-living residences. On the other hand, the property on which they are built is always deemed to be a single parcel of land and cannot be separated in any way. When compared to a duplex, it typically results in lower costs associated with building and council fees. On the other hand, it may restrict your rights. However, utilities for the dwelling might be split off on their own.

Because it will cost you a lot less to acquire a dual occupancy than it will to buy a single-family house, it is an excellent option for first-time homebuyers who are on a limited budget but still place a high importance on living in a pleasant neighbourhood and having aesthetically pleasing housing.

When building a new house, remember:

  • also known as shared-living homes
  • can’t be subdivided -> less building and council cost
  • separate utilities possible


A duplex often looks just like a dual occupancy. But even though the two households share a wall, often referred to as a common ‘party wall’, they are considered two dwellings. They are therefore listed with separate titles, which is why the land can be subdivided. As the possibility to subdivide exists, a duplex offers more liberties as to buying and selling a house than a dual occupancy does. Another benefit to the duplex is its price. You will pay up to half of what a single-detached house, same style and size, would cost you, which is why the Duplex is very popular among first-home buyers as well. At MJS Construction Group, we have the best dual occupancy selection to make your house a dream come true.

When building a new house, remember:

  • two separate dwellings with separate titles -> can be subdivided
  • common ‘party wall.’

Granny Flat

A granny flat can be defined as a self-contained home extension to a principal dwelling. It usually contains a bedroom with a bathroom, as well as a small kitchen, dining and a living area. The flat can either be attached to the main house, separated through, e.g. a garage or fully detached. Local councils dictate the size but in most cases doesn’t exceed 60 square metres.

Granny flats are, as their name suggests, popular among ageing parents or grandparents. They can still live independently but have their family in closest proximity. And also for teenage children moving out for the first time, this type of dwelling can be a fitting option. Another way to make use of a granny flat and at the same time get extra income for the household is to rent the flat out, as they are popular accommodations.

When building a new house, remember:

  • self-contained conjunction to a principal dwelling
  • often occupied by independent family members

Learning The Difference Between Duplex Vs Dual Occupancy Homes

To begin, the distinction between a single-family home and a residence with dual occupancy is that the latter ought to be covered by a single land title. When compared to the lot size required for a duplex, the requirements for a residence with dual occupancy can be more laxly met.

This factor even has an effect on the pricing of a duplex that is listed as a residence with dual occupancy. The cost evaluation of a duplex structure would be more than that of a home that can accommodate two families simultaneously. On the other hand, a project with dual occupancy is accompanied by its own individual set of difficulties and obstacles. The builder of a property with dual occupancy has the challenge of squeezing all of the amenities and comforts of a typical house into a smaller plot of land and space, as well as the available floor area. Because there is a restriction on the amount of available space, it is necessary to designate a more conspicuous area for each inhabitant. As a result of this being written down, a dual occupancy designer also obtains more benefits than others, just like building a secondary home, also known as a granny flat. This is due to the fact that its occupancy is on a single piece of land, and its construction allows one person to rent out the other occupancy for money. The rent that one may collect from a home with dual occupancy is significantly higher than the rent that one can collect from a granny flat. Subdividing dual occupancy residences is made possible when specific requirements are met, and doing so can be an option when selling a dual occupancy home.

Understanding A Duplex Home

A duplex is the name given to a single structure that has been partitioned to create two independent living units within the same building. The versatility of the land on which a duplex or dual occupancy home is built is the primary distinction between the two. It is possible to sell both homes at the same time even though the duplex is only listed on one land title. Alternatively, the property could be split into two separate land titles. This indicates that one can sell their homes independently from one another. In order to build a duplex, you will need a block of a specific size as well as a large portion of property with two separate frontages, such as a corner block. Because the requirements for the land are of a higher standard than those for a dual occupancy, the cost of purchasing land is significantly more expensive. Due to this, the aim of creating the duplex and the design is more expensive, and duplexes typically go on the market with higher rental prices in order to generate more revenue.

Why Should You Build A Duplex?

If you already have a knock-down rebuild and want to build two new houses, or if you want to build a new dwelling behind an existing one, or if you want to build two new dwellings on a block of land that is now vacant, you can't go wrong with a duplex.

Homeowners who wish to maximise their income, downsize their present home, or raise the value of their property are increasingly turning to duplex homes as a viable option to accomplish all three of these goals. A supplementary dwelling or granny flat cannot be subdivided, whereas a duplex home can typically be split into two separate homes. After a dual occupancy has been subdivided, either one of the dwellings or both of them can be sold to bring down the total amount of debt.

There Are Many Benefits To Having A Dual Occupancy, Such As:

The increasing value of property

There is a possibility that the value of your property may go up by as much as forty percent if you build a duplex, and there is also the possibility that the value of homes in a dual occupancy subdivision could go up by as much as one hundred percent.

An additional source of income

The rental income of a 4-bedroom duplex in certain regions of Sydney might imply up to $1,400 in additional rent per week on top of regular incomes. This income is a supplement to regular salaries.

Minimise risk

Risks will decrease with dual occupancy because if there are two properties, the risk of both being vacant is low.

Reduce the cost of development

This can be achieved by selling one side of the dual occupancy.


The purchase of a duplex is an excellent option to start out and save money. Investing in a duplex is an excellent method to position yourself financially for the purchase of a more expensive property in the future if you are now unable to do so.


You have the option of living in one side of a duplex while renting out or selling the other side when you purchase a property that is configured as a duplex.

After you have identified the restrictions of the local council, the subdivisions of land, and the utilities, as well as the other criteria described in Part One of this blog [insert link], and after you have entered into a contract with a Builder, the building stages will begin. Looking for dual occupancy? Look no further! MJS Construction Group has you covered. 

Most Commonly, The Key Stages Of The Building Will Be:

Stage One: Site Start

Your builder will ensure that the land on which your dual occupancy will be built has been cleared, and he or she will also conduct soil tests to assist in determining the kinds of materials that will be used for your footings and slabs. This will be the very first thing that your builder will undertake.

Stage Two: Basics and Slab

During this stage, the fundamentals, such as power and drains, are installed for each residence, and they are followed by the pouring of the slab or slabs.

Stage Three: Frame

Your builder will have carpenters on site who will assemble the frames along with the roof trusses after the slab or slabs have been poured.

Stage Four: Lock-Up

During this phase of construction, you will be able to watch your home take shape before your very eyes, culminating in the completion of your "lock-up" stage. This stage is a busy one and includes the addition of doors, roof covering, brickwork, windows, and gutters.

Stage Five: Fixings

During the stage known as "fixing," your builder will be responsible for the installation of all internal fixes. These will include cabinets, sinks, bathtubs, floors, plaster walls, ceilings, and staircases.

Stage Six: Completion

Your builder is now in the process of putting the finishing touches, or finishing touches, on your home as this is the final step of the construction process. Your home will soon be finished with all of the fittings that you have selected, including painting and tiling, external rendering, and garage doors. It will also be close to being ready to be moved into with your family and tenants, if that is the path that you decide to choose.

Stage Seven: Settlement

Your loan provider will require that you give them with a copy of the Certificate of Occupancy that will be sent to you by your builder. Once it has been received, a valuer will be sent to assess your property to check that it was built to the highest standard possible and that it satisfies the standards for the construction of a duplex or granny flat. This certificate verifies that the work specified in your contract has been finished and that your newly constructed house is now ready for occupancy.

Stage Eight: Move-In

This is the most thrilling stage of the process of constructing your new house. It's time to move in once you've reached an agreement with both your builder and the lender for your mortgage. Now is the time to look for a property manager and start advertising for tenants if you plan to rent out your granny flat or duplex in the near future.

Dual Occupancy And Multi-generational Living

Evaluate your options

The first and most important decision you need to make is what kind of lifestyle is going to be the most beneficial in terms of how well it fits both your current lifestyle and the goals you have for the future.

The circumstances that each person is in and their own tastes are distinct from one another. Is it necessary, for instance, to have two distinct entrances and homes in every building?

You have the option of purchasing a duplex or a detached granny flat if you want to ensure that each resident has their own private entrance, no rooms or living areas are shared, and independent living quarters.

In that case, you might want to consider adding house plans that accommodate many generations into the mix. For example, this is a single dwelling that is meant to accommodate more than two generations of a single family.

A home with two separate living spaces (one area will be smaller). In this area of the home, you will find a single kitchen, bathroom and master bedroom all contained within the family home. It’s perfect for the extended family who wants to have their living and cooking space.

A home with two master bedrooms and ensuites on different floors to accommodate a family and grandparents. You share living and cooking areas, but you have the ability to have guests or grandparents stay downstairs with their bedroom and bathroom.

dual occupancy

Understand council requirements

If you have the assistance of an experienced builder, it will be much simpler to navigate the complex landscape of government and council requirements.

You will need to be familiar with a lot of different aspects of the procedure. Does the local council authorise multiple occupancies under its Local Environmental Plan? Exist some cases that don't fit the rule? According to the regulations of the NSW Government, what is the minimum width that a block must have? Do you have a maximum building height and floor space ratio that must be adhered to?

The parcel of land on which you intend to develop is subject to additional levels of control, which vary depending on the council.

Before you make any decisions on detached granny flats, you will need to be aware of the setback requirements, the minimum block size, and the zoning. The question is whether the authorities will allow a granny apartment with two stories.

Do you need to subdivide?

If you wish to sell one of the homes in the future but keep the other one, it is crucial to have a good understanding of what you may do with the land you own. Your local council will let you know whether or not the development of a dual occupancy will allow for the creation of a strata or torrens subdivision.

It is essential to have the correct title to the land and to be aware of whether or not the land can be subdivided. The ideal time to accomplish this is when you are still in the planning stages, discussing it with your builder, and getting ready for it. It is highly recommended that the application for the construction of the dual occupancy be submitted at the same time as the subdivision permit request, if at all possible.  Planning for a new look for your house? Look no further!  MJS Construction Group is here to help in your dual occupancy builder Melbourne.

The differences are:

Torrens – this is the subdivision of one lot into two, and there are no shared services.

Strata – if your land cannot meet the requirements for a Torrens subdivision, you may be able to have a Strata title, similar to that of a townhouse or apartment building.

This indicates that you will need to collaborate with the resident of the other unit in order to address any concerns that affect both units (for example, maintaining a roof). When you subdivide your property, you will need the services of a surveyor or a conveyancer so that the existing title may have its information updated and so that a new title can be created to represent the newly created second property. When you finally become the official owner of two legal dwellings, you have the option of selling either one or both of them.

It is important to note that a granny flat is not the same as a regular apartment because it is deemed to be a distinct dwelling but is still included on the same title as the main property.

There are rules that control the various sorts of property, and these rules are slightly different for the state and the local government. These can easily lead to confusion regarding what constitutes a duplex and what constitutes dual occupancy. The floor plans of the duplex and the dual occupancy home might be the same or completely distinct from one another. It is possible for a land title that often relies on describing the property type to sometimes be legitimately acceptable from a legal standpoint. Let's say one is considering a structure that is part of a multi-family house that is located on a single parcel of land. One should make it a point to investigate the various choices that are open to them, as constructing a duplex takes considerably more effort and financial resources than constructing a dual occupancy house, which is, on the other hand, more economical but offers fewer customization possibilities.

It is recommended that anyone interested in learning more about such buildings speak with dual occupancy builders in Melbourne; LBD homes are a great resource for shedding more exact light on this topic.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dual Occupancy

A dual occupancy is two dwellings on a single lot. Generally it implies separate services and at least the potential to subdivide at some point in the future. It is often misused to represent primary and secondary dwellings or dual-keys properties.

A duplex house is a residential building constructed on two floors. It has a single dining room and a single kitchen. Duplex house design has a common central wall and consists of two living units, either side-by-side or on two floors, with separate entries.

Simplex town houses refer to a property which is in a sectional title development constructed on a single level. Duplex refers to property which is stacked one above the other and is also sectional title.

Duplexes are good investment options and have more benefits to offer, compared to apartments or villas. MakaaniQ tells you why it is best to purchase duplex houses, despite their cons. Privacy: No one has been ever disappointed with more space. Duplexes clearly promise complete comfort for the residents.

Duplex flat is the residential unit for a single family with single kitchen and living room but at the multi-stores. Whereas, the villa is generally single floor living space. Duplex has got more floors but is smaller than the villa in terms of area.

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