Accessory Dwelling Units “ADUs”

As of January 1, 2020, it has become easier to build Accessory Dwelling Units in California, thanks to a package of new bills. These bills invalidate local ADU ordinances across the state and replace them with state-mandated rules.

What is an ADU? 

ADUs, or accessory dwelling units, are sometimes called granny flats or backyard homes. ADUs can be attached, detached, created by adding onto the existing main house or by carving out space within the existing home.

There are 4 types of ADUs:

  • A converted backyard garage
  • An attached unit to your garage
  • An attached unit to your home
  • A detached unit on your lot

How Many ADUs can a homeowner have on their property?

Homeowners can have two ADUs on their property. They can have a standard ADU and a Junior ADU (JADU). A standard ADU can have a maximum size of 1,200 square feet. The Junior ADU can have a maximum space of 500 square feet.

Is there a lot size requirement when building an ADU?

No, you can build an ADU on any size lot as long as the ADU can be accessed from the exterior and has setbacks sufficient for fire safety. 

Do I need to provide extra parking? 

No, you are not required to replace or create parking if you are located within a half-mile walking distance from a bus stop or transit station. 

Once my ADU is created can I tear it down whenever I want?

No, once a unit is created, it cannot ever be removed even if you are selling it to another party who is planning on building a new home. That other party cannot tear it down and build a single-family home. They must rebuild with the same number of units on the property. 


If you have any more questions about ADUs or anything real estate related contact us on our contact page!

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