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How to live rent free in a tiny home in Qld

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This tiny home is being offered up as free accommodation in exchange for a few hours of work.

A Qld family living on acreage has found a novel way to meet their needs, offering tiny homes rent free with electricity, water and internet access. Here’s how to get into one.

John Newton told The Courier-Mail that his family spent $150,000 putting up self-contained buildings as a means to attract the help they need for their large property.

“We live on two acres and our family is super busy with two young kids and we train sport every day so never enough time,” he said. “I built a full house on the property and spent $150k to allow us to have some helpers live here for free and trade for work.”

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The tiny home has a full kitchen.

Mr Newton said the arrangement on their acreage estate in Warner in Brisbane north suited self funded retirees best.

“Self funded older people maybe with a pet that wants to be part of the property and plodder around trading a set amount of hours for work for free house and all the services like gas and electric and internet.”

“It doesn’t suit people who still need to work or who are thinking of an hourly rate, as this help provides no income.”

Mr Newton said usually they had a gardener, a maintenance person and a cleaner that live on the property in separate self contained buildings.

“They have their own private space and keep the property looking five-star. Their houses we offer all have kitchens and porcelain tiled floors and bathrooms and airconditioning and TVs and it’s all here on a fully fenced and gated property.”

The 20sq m bedroom has built-ins and a bathroom.

Mr Newton said their current search was for a cleaner helper – a position they started about four months ago in exchange for life in a tiny home with full bathroom, airconditioning and services.

“The gardener and handy person positions we have been operating for about five years in the same format.”

The Warner estate is three minutes drive to Woolworths and the tiny home studio accommodation is about six months old.

The tiny home has a 20sq m bedroom with built-ins and its own bathroom, as well as a 30sq m lounge room with full kitchen.

“There is a great little front deck that looks out to bushland. There is a store room and a loft storage as well.”

The family kitted out the home with appliances and services including free internet and a TV.

“You sit high on a hill in a tranquil setting looking over the two acres. There is a shared laundry with another studio (gardener lives in the other). Separate entries to the studio and a deck with fans and are built to a high standard of accommodation. There is modern air conditioners in the lounge and bedroom, full kitchen with oven and gas cooktop and heaps of storage. This is all contained in a separate building to the main house.”

The arrangement would require about four hours of work a day, six days a week in exchange for the free accommodation and services.

The self contained house is quite spacious compared to other tiny homes.

The family is open to making the arrangement a long term one.

“Our family has young kids so if you do not like kids then the position may not be suitable.”

The sort of DIY work done on the property by the handyperson includes painting, patching, bugs and rodent control, tidying up, pool water testing and maintenance, and push mowing lawns.

“Mostly just things around the outside of the home you would have done when you owned your own home,” is how Mr Newton put it.


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