Local Laws

Tiny Houses on Wheels are usually considered as Caravans by local governments due to their mobile nature. They are commonly faced with local law restrictions on the period of time a person can ‘live’ in a caravan. The development of local laws governing ‘camping’ or living in a ‘caravan’ is different. As examples local laws may: stipulate the requirement to obtain a permit for occupation for a limited period, where the applicant may be able to apply for an extension; allow living in a caravan where there is no commercial or financial interest; restrict occupation to only 30 or 60 days in a year.

In addition, if there is a neighbour ‘complaint’ the occupant of the tiny house may be asked to either remedy the situation or remove the tiny house within a short timeframe. This lack of security for permanent dwelling is proving a significant barrier to the uptake of the tiny house living.

Local councils with tiny house policies and regulations

There are a small but growing number of LGA’s that are developing tiny house specific policies that support full time living in Tiny Houses (on Wheels and/or Skids). ATHA are cautiously optimistic that this number will grow as more councils realise the potential of Tiny Houses to be a sustainable housing option and help remedy the housing crisis. Our Planning Policy Template is a useful resource for planners to reference when drafting their own Tiny House Policies.

Shellharbour, NSW

In April 2024, Shellharbour City Council in NSW has It has backed a pilot program that would allow tiny homes to be installed on residential blocks as long-term rental properties without development consent. Details are still to come.

Shire of Boddington, WA

On 23 April 2024, Council resolved to endorse for advertising, draft Local Planning Policy 21 – Tiny Houses on Wheels. Recognising the growing interest in alternative and compact housing solutions, the Policy provides a framework for the establishment and regulation of tiny houses within the Shire of Boddington.

Shire of Capel, WA

On the 6th of September, 2023 the Council endorsed the adoption of the Shire’s first ‘Tiny Houses Policy’. This is an innovative policy that will allow residents within the Shire to build alternative housing and short-stay accommodation under certain regulations.

Shire of Esperance, WA

The Shire of Esperance is a trail blazer, developing the first local planning policy specifically for tiny houses in Australia in 2022.

Shire of Ravensthorpe, WA

Tuesday 19 December 2023, Council endorsed for public comment two crucial policies aimed at enhancing sustainable development and promoting responsible housing options within the Shire of Ravensthorpe: the Draft Chalet Policy and the Draft Tiny House Policy.

Surf Coast Shire Council, VIC

Meanwhile in Victoria, the Surf Coast Shire Council has approved a 2 year trial of tiny houses on wheels occupation.

Mount Alexander Council, VIC

As of June 22, 2023, permits will not be required for a THOW or caravan on private properties that have an existing dwelling on them.

Campaign for change!

Where your current regulations are more restrictive, please consider helping to campaign for change to Tiny House regulations at your local council. Local government laws are reviewed periodically, so contact your local council to understand when they plan to review.

Tiny house database

ATHA has partnered with Fred’s Tiny Houses to encourage members to be active participants in local law research and contribute to the Tiny House on Wheels regulatory database. The database is a crowdsourced, living spreadsheet with most local governments’ stances on tiny houses on wheels. It is a good starting point for research but always check with the council yourself, as what is on their website and their actual views around tiny houses may differ.