Dependent Person's Units


What is a Dependent Person's Unit? 

A Dependent Person’s Unit (referred to as a DPU) is a form of accommodation used in rural and residential areas.  A DPU is defined as ‘a  movable building on the same lot as an existing dwelling and used to provide accommodation for a person dependent on a resident of the existing dwelling’.

A moveable building is defined as ‘a structure, other than a tent, caravan or vehicle, which is designed to be moved from place to place on more than one occasion’. This means the building must be demountable or designed to be moved more than once, can be transported within a short period of time and conforms to VicRoads requirements for transportable dimensions.

The temporary nature of a DPU means that it must be removed from the property when circumstances change and the DPU is no longer required by the person dependent on a resident of the existing dwelling.

Please note: If the proposed DPU does not fit this criteria, then it is considered a second dwelling and must comply with the relevant Planning Scheme requirements. In rural areas (Green Wedge Zone, Green Wedge A Zone and Rural Conservation Zone), a second dwelling on the land is prohibited.  

Also, check your copy of title for any controls such as restrictions, covenants, building envelopes, Section 173 Agreements that may restrict or prevent the use and development of a dependent person’s unit.

Visit Do I need a planning permit? to find out if a planning permit is or isn’t required for a DPU on your property.  

What information do I need to provide when submitting a planning application to construct a DPU?

An application for a Dependent Person’s Unit must include the following information:

1. A cover letter which explains:

  • How the DPU is able to be easily moved;
  • Who the dependent person(s) is, how the occupant of the proposed DPU is dependent on the care of the resident of the main dwelling and supporting documents to demonstrate this, such as:

    • A medical certificate from a registered treating health practitioner for medical dependency, or

    • A photocopy of the dependent person’s Pensioner Concession Card for socio economic dependency.

2. A recent Certificate of Title (not more than 100 days old). This must include the register search statement, title plan and any encumbrances listed on the register search statement. If you don’t have one, you can request a copy of title online.

3. A copy of all plans, including site plan, floor plan and elevations. Clearly identify existing structures and vegetation, setback distances, floor levels and site levels, earthworks, vegetation removal, septic tank and effluent envelope (if no reticulated sewerage is available).  Plans must be at the scale of 1:100 or 1:200. View sample plans

4. Relevant reports (e.g. arborist report, bushfire management statement or geotechnical assessment).

Once you have all the required documents, please visit Apply for a planning permit for information and a step by step guide to lodging your planning application.