Room for granny – The Rise of the Annexe

One of the knock-on effects of the pandemic has been a rise in requests received by estate agents for homes with a separate, self-contained space such as a flat, annexe, converted garage or garden room with its own kitchen and bathroom.

These can be used by elderly relatives who can no longer live alone, or adult children who may be renting a flat in town and would prefer to be in a support bubble with their family if we have another lock-down. It is also useful for those who have to self-isolate from the family because of Covid-symptoms or who actually have Covid, or have been on holiday and need to quarantine.

Research from insurer Aviva reveals that almost one in ten homes in London has some form of annexe, while 12 per cent of owners have plans to develop one as a result of lock-down.

An annexe that can be rented out separately from the house via Airbnb or similar may also provide a useful additional income to homeowners whose income is impacted by the end of the furlough scheme. If you live in the city or the suburbs, you may find that people living in the countryside want to spend one or two nights a week in town for work, and your annexe can be rented out for this purpose.

For those who don’t have the funds or inclination to move to a bigger property, it may be possible to add space in the form of an annexe or garden room, assuming you can find a contractor who can fit you in. Homeowners should consider future sale ability when carrying out any works and ensure the property can be used as a single family home in the future if required.

It is important that if you are considering adding extra accommodation that you take independent, professional advice as you may need planning and building regulations approval. If you need to borrow to pay for the works, a whole-of-market broker such as AWS Financial Services can also advise as to the best way of funding your project.

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