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What are Some Legal Requirements for ADU's?

How many ADU's can I have on my property?

According to the new 2020 guidelines, California residents can have 2 on one property. One must be a full ADU and the other a JADU, which can be created by converting a part of the existing residence and cannot be larger than 500 square feet.

Legal Requirements to Build an ADU.

To build an ADU you need to obtain a building permit from your local jurisdiction to build a habitable living space on your property. However, if the space is non-habitable, and is under 200 sq ft, then sometimes you do not need a permit. In California, no matter which jurisdiction you are in, a detached ADU can be built up to 800 sq feet. As long as they are less than 16 feet high and have a 4 foot rear and side yard setbacks.

Legal Requirements to Rent Out an ADU.

If you will be renting out your ADU there are certain legal requirements you should be made aware of. Such as the Fair Housing Law which protects people from discrimination when they are renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, seeking housing assistance, or engaging in other housing related activities. Additionally, if you are looking at renting it out you need to get it permitted. In California, all unpermitted ADUs need to be legalized within 5 years, which is more than enough time. Renting out an unpermitted ADU is a massive financial and legal risk. For example, in the event of an accident, the insurance company will probably not give you anything to repair any damages and could bring a lawsuit from your tenant. There are very easy steps to follow to get it legalized. Meet with a contractor and put together your set of plans and see if there are any modifications needed to abide by the legal requirements. Once you have the plans and documents you will need to submit it to the city building department and in less than 60 days you should receive a permit. Next, an inspection will most likely take place and you can start any construction needed. Once you have completed the project and it's up to code you are done!

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