Ever heard of an Accessory Dwelling Unit?
With the stroke of the pen, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a series of bills into law which will make it easier for homeowners to build small guest homes or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on their property. Is this smart? We think so. This will increase the number of small or affordable homes for sale or rent which critical right now in Los Angeles.
These laws go into effect on January 1, 2020, to help the Golden State take a step toward easing the housing crisis. While the laws put into effect many changes state-wide, some local ordinances may still apply. Here is a summary of the new ADU laws in California.
- Reduced Costs and burdens for Developing ADUs.
- Cities must approve ADU applications within 60 days, without a hearing or review
- For ADUs permitted by 2025, cities cannot require the owner to live at the property
- Cities cannot charge any impact fees for ADUs under 750 sqft while fees for larger units will be limited
- Homeowners associations cannot block their construction
- ADUs can be developed at the same time as a primary unit
- A city must delay code enforcement against an existing unlawful ADU to allow it to be legalized
More good news for people considering an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) for their property. If an ADU is not subject to automatic approval, the city generally must approve any attached or detached ADU under 1,200 sqft.
Another improvement is that cities must permit ADUs in multifamily residential buildings without applying any local development standards. This saves time and red-tape.
These new laws are an important step in California’s efforts to address the housing crisis. They also directly benefit current homeowners and first-time homebuyers. This allows first-time buyers to create a new revenue stream by renting out the ADU. Or taking advantage of multigenerational living. Are you following me? As the baby-boomer generation get older, many are sitting on large homes and simply cannot afford to move or want the responsibility to maintain them. So what are they gonna do?
It makes sense for baby-boomers to cohabitate with their children. An in ADU could be the answer. This can also help them avoid assisted living homes, and build a strong bond with the next generation. Win-win!
Look for additional updates on this front in 2020 when another housing development bill called SB 50 hits the floor.
I’m Robert Mitchell, a marketing director, and real estate public relations expert. Originally from New York, I made the jump to Los Angeles in 2010. When I’m not involved in real estate transactions you can find me playing in the Santa Monica sand with my fiancé and our lovable fur-baby Polly the pug.