R-Codes: what are they?

What do R codes mean?

Perth Buyer's Agent Heath Bassett


Buyer's agent and co-founder

R-Codes for property buyers: what you need to know

G’day everyone it’s Simon and Heath from You&Me Personalised Property Services. Today, we wanted to answer some of the frequently asked questions we get. One of those frequently asked questions is: What are R-Codes? What do R-Codes mean?

Heath, can you please explain briefly what are R-Codes?

For more information, the Department of Planning, Land and Heritage provides great resources about R-Codes.

Something property buyers should know

R-Code stands for Residential Design Code

Yes, so they’re Residential Codes.

Essentially what they are is how much space, how much land you need per dwelling to be able to fit that dwelling inside the block. Does that make sense?

Example with a 1000 sqm of land

So you’ve got a thousand square meters of land. And depending on what suburb, and what council you’re in, it will come with a certain Code.

And that R-Code is going to determine what you can do with that thousand square meters of land.

1000 sqm land R 40

So let’s put, into again, a real time example. We have a thousand square meters of land with an R-Code of R 40. Which essentially means that you must have a minimum of 180 square meters per land (per lot). And an average of 220 square meters.

So that means one could be 180 sqm, one could be to 240 sqm.

As long as they average out to 220 square meters, with a minimum of 180 square meters. It can work.


Subdivide a 1000 sqm land R 40

So with a thousand square meter block: R 40. How many times can we chop that up?

We could fit 4. It would be 880 sqm, plus your common driveway or gardens or car parks, something like that.

Are you interested land subdivision? Read this article about subdividing land in Western Australia.

How many lots can you split your land into
How many lots can you split your land into

How low and high can R-Codes go?

Lowest R-Codes

And in terms of different R-Codes, we use the example of R 40: how low can the R-Codes go?

They go down to R 2, which is 5000 square meters. And that’s probably going to be rural land.

Okay, and then sort of how high do they go with the R-Code?

Highest R-Code

R 80 is sort of common. The most common I’ve seen higher. R 80 which is a minimum of 100 sqm and an average of 120 sqm.

And then when you are looking at high rise developments and stuff like that, they’ve obviously got higher R-Code?

They’re called Density Codes, but we won’t go into that. They’re called Density Codes rather than R  Codes. Different kettle of fish altogether.

But let’s keep to the residential side of things and R-Codes are what we look at.

Why should property investors know about R-Codes?

Lot subdivision

And it’s super important for an investor wherever you’re from to understand that just because you’ve got a block size of a thousand square meters doesn’t necessarily mean you can chop it into four, or three, or two.

So it’s really, really important that you don’t get sold by an agent on the size of the land, the size of the land, if you’re not aware of the R-Codes.

And then likewise you could have a 500 square meter block of land and think: “I don’t have enough land”, but if it’s R 40, you can split it.

Councils are empowered to supplement the requirements of the R-Codes

Now there are, there are variances in councils, particular councils. There are little sneaky things you can do.

Yes, but I guess that’s why you employ someone like us to know that that detail, because someone might look at it- a buyer might look at and go: “oh, not can’t do anything with that”.

We come along and go, actually because of this, this, and this and in this council, you can do exactly what we want to do.

Understanding R-Codes when buying a property

So realistically, guys, if you’re out there and you’re looking for a block of land or you’re looking for a home that you could keep and subdivide, or you’re just looking for a development option, you need to have a clear understanding of the R-Codes.

Subdivide land with R-Codes
Subdivide land with R-Codes

We can help you choose the right property

But as Heath said, within that understanding R-Codes, there’s a lot of things, a lot of nuances that you’ll pick up from being in the industry as long as us (over 35 years combined experience in the Perth real estate market), to make certain things work that other people think couldn’t work.

Our buyer’s agent services have helped thousands of people across Australia and Internationally acquire the right property at the right price.

For any enquiry or question, feel free to contact us: click here to contact us.

As always, guys, until next time happy investing.

Perth Buyer's Agent Heath Bassett

Property Buyer's Agent and Co-Founder at You&Me Personalised Property Services

Buy property in Perth and Brisbane with confidence.

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