The construction regulations for residential projects changed drastically in August 2018 and today if you own a lot with a single family dwelling on it, YOU MUST build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or “Companion Unit” so you don’t miss out! Not only you will add value to your property but also you can legally rent that unit out and start getting your investment back right away.
Companion Units were hard to get permits for before because of the many restriction the single family lots had but with the rental demand in California, drastic changes were made recently and right now they benefit the owners like never before.
These are some of the benefits that years before did not exist:
- Today you are not required to provide extra parking for the new dwelling if the proposed Companion Unit is 500 sq. ft. in size or less but if it is larger and the lot is located in a Transit Priority Area, you still are not required to provide parking because you have public transportation close by.
- If the Companion Unit is a converted garage attached to the main house, all you have to show is that you can park the number of cars you used to park inside that garage, (usually two), off the street and inside your property lines. The cities very seldom allowed tandem parking before and now pretty much all of them do to facilitate approval.
- Parking on the driveways was not considered legal before and now, as part of the incentive, they are considered legal tandem parking.
The Development Impact Fee that used to be a requirement until 2018, now is only required if the companion unit is detached from the main house and over a certain size. There are many ways to attach a companion unit to an existing house without removing privacy from the equation.There are also many reasons why people are considering building companion units on their lots these days. Many of my clients want their son, daughter or parents to be independent but to stay close, some want the rent money every month, and some just want to have some extra room for guests. For whatever reason, today a companion unit is the best investment for any homeowner. For starters, your property will be more valuable because you will have two separate and independent dwellings with even different addresses on the same lot.