Dual living, as the name suggests, is the practise of integrating two separate living spaces, with their own kitchens bathrooms amenities and so forth, together on the one property. While often it involves members of the same extended family in each of these living spaces, increasingly these multi dwelling arrangements also involve tenants.

Another important thing to note is that dual occupancy means that the two living spaces are on the same title. Because there is no second title this means that there is only one set of rates and taxes.
Then there is the concept of the secondary dwelling. The difference between dual occupancy and a secondary dwelling is that the secondary dwelling must either be less than 60 square metres or measure less than 5% of the total floor area of the main dwelling (whichever ifs highest).

Dual living house plans may involve granny flats that are side by side or behind the main residence or just involve the division of a single building into separate living spaces.

The history of dual living in Australia

As mentioned, dual occupancy floor plans do not have a long history in Australia. In fact, there was no specific legislation around the concept until the early 1980s. in 1981, the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works first allowed houses and housing lots to be divided in this fashion. 
Initially there were restrictions around the practice, which meant dual living could only take place in cases where family members were involved. Nowadays however, in most jurisdictions across Australia, the practise is open to anybody. As a result – and also because of increased urban consolidation and the increase in rental prices – dual living has grown significantly in popularity.
Whether the property is a large acreage in a regional area, a suburban home, or an inner-city residence, it has become commonplace, and house and land packages are available.

More and more homeowners now see the worth in dividing their houses in this way. In some cases, the motivation is about allowing older generations (grandparents, and so forth) to move in; in others it allows younger generations (who may have recently left school or university and are not yet in a position to handle high rental prices) to live independently and at the same time save money for a home deposit; and in other cases still, it allows homeowners who are burdened by high mortgages to earn rental money and, in so doing, relieve some financial stress.

Dual living house plans Australia - a selection of some of the best dual occupancy designs

amity 255

1. The Amity 255

Called Amity 255, this one storey dual occupancy home has two big master bedrooms, each with a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite, as well as two other bedrooms. It can be purchased with either one or two kitchens, depending on personal preference and family living arrangements or if you want to sublet and so forth, and it also has a large outdoor entertainment area out the back. Essentially two houses in one, it is a great choice for multi family arrangements.

manhattan dual living home

2. Manhattan dual living home

The impressive features of the Manhattan dual living home include a large open plan living area that can be closed off according to living arrangements. Ideal for narrow blocks, the dual occupancy home also has four spacious bedrooms including a large master suite with twin walk in robes as well as two vanities an ensuite, and large bath. Meanwhile, the house’s upper lounge is flexible enough to cater for adults and children alike. 

oxford dual occupancy home

3. The Oxford dual occupancy home

Complete with shepherd entries and two separate single garages, the Oxford dual occupancy home Is separated into two buildings that are side by side. The main building section includes three of its own bedrooms as well as a large living area and outdoor entertaining space, while the smaller residence also boasts two good sized bedrooms, an open plan living, dining and kitchen area, and its own laundry and bathroom. Overall, the property is suitable for a large extended family or for tenants.

virgo dual occupancy home

4. The Virgo dual occupancy home

While from the street the Virgo dual occupancy home looks like any other suburban house, on closer inspection it reveals a whole different story. With separate entries, kitchens and living areas, as well as five bedrooms and four bathrooms, this large home can comfortably accommodate either a large extended family or two unrelated groups of people in complete comfort. It's the perfect answer to financial dilemmas, while at the same time ensuring that no compromise is made in terms of comfort.

richmond dual occupancy home

5. The Richmond dual occupancy home

In the case of the Richmond dual occupancy home, a main residence is accompanied by a granny flat with two bedrooms living room and kitchen as well as an outdoor dining and entertainment area. Meanwhile next door and separated only by a fire wall, the spacious main house includes four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a separate two car garage. Once again, there is little to distinguish this impressive suburban home from the rest of the houses in the street.

alambre dual occupancy home

6. The Alambre dual occupancy home

Consisting of a Maine residents with four sizable bedrooms, a spacious kitchen with walk-in pantry, an open plan living and dining area, as well as a comfortable one bedroom granny flat with its own open plan kitchen dining and living area, the Alambre dual occupancy home is best suited to a large family living alongside a single relative, friend or tenant. it's all capped off by an impressive indoor/outdoor dining and entertainment area.

yarraville dual occupancy home

7. The Yarraville dual occupancy home

An impressive duplex, the Yarraville dual occupancy home includes a smaller residence upstairs with two bedrooms and a separate kitchen. Then downstairs the main residence presents very much as an upmarket suburban family home with galley style kitchen, oversized island bench, open plan living area, and a courtyard outside.