Accessory dwelling units have existed since forever and the principle behind them is simple. It’s a secondary unit that is adjacent to your property that can be used as a living space. However, there are some specific rules regarding these units that you have to know before you have one built. Let’s take a look at what ADUs are exactly, some things to consider before building one, and some of the things you can and cannot do with an accessory dwelling unit in Los Angeles County.
The Different Types of ADUs
First, you should know that the term accessory dwelling unit can have slightly different definitions depending on where you live. An ADU doesn’t necessarily have to be used as living space, for instance. As long as it’s a secondary part of your property and it’s amended beyond its original purpose, it becomes an ADU.
Note that it doesn’t have to be separated from the property to be called that either. It can be an attic or a basement. As long as it’s transformed, it’s an ADU. Now let’s take a look at some of the things you need to take into consideration before building an accessory dwelling unit Los Angeles county.
Some Things to Know Before Building an ADU
You should weigh the pros and cons before embarking on an important project like building an ADU. One of the benefits of having an ADU built is that you’ll have more space for family or can use the unit to earn some additional revenue. This can also be turned into low-cost accommodation for adult children who want to stay close to the nest.
One of the drawbacks of ADUs is that you may run into trouble with tenants. Loss of privacy can become an issue, as well as property damage. You should also assess if you are ready to live in such close quarters with a family member. We suggest you do the “guest room test” and have them over for about a week. If everything goes smoothly, then you can consider the idea.
What Can You Do and Not Do with an ADU?
Now, let’s look at the rules governing accessory dwelling units. First of all, you have to make sure that you build it according to code. According to state law, accessory dwelling units attached to the main house cannot be over 1,200 square feet or half the main property’s size, whichever is smaller.
Different cities within the county can also have different rules. ADUs in Santa Monica cannot be more than 650 square feet while the limit is 600 square feet in Glendale. You will also need to run the plans by your local department of building and safety.
You should also know that while you can list your accessory dwelling unit in Los Angeles county on Airbnb, in some cases, it all depends on the city. Many municipalities in Los Angeles county have rules against using your accessory dwelling unit as an Airbnb, like Santa Monica and Long Beach, for instance, so make sure that you consult with your local government first.
Building an ADU in Los Angeles County demands a lot of planning, so make sure that you know what you’re getting. Make sure to know the rules in and out and look at whether it would be a wise decision.
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