Architectural & Design Studio

California Law Allows Separate Sales of ADUs Only Cities and Counties That Choose To Do So

12/28/20233 min read


Sale signage
Sale signage

A new state law in California has been introduced that would allow property owners to sell their accessory dwelling units (ADUs) separately from the main house. Currently, ADUs can only be rented out, but this new law aims to increase housing availability for lower-income and first-time homebuyers. However, it is important to note that individual cities and counties, such as Los Angeles and Orange, have the option to opt-in and adopt these new rules.

ADUs, also known as granny flats or in-law units, are smaller residential units that are built on the property of an existing home. They provide an affordable housing option for families, individuals, and older adults who may need additional living space or want to generate rental income. Until now, ADUs could only be rented out, limiting their potential benefits to homeowners.

The passing of Assembly Bill 1033 signifies a significant change in the regulations surrounding ADUs. This law aims to address the housing crisis in California by allowing property owners to sell these units separately from the main house. By doing so, it opens up new opportunities for lower-income and first-time homebuyers who may not be able to afford a traditional single-family home.

ADU construction has been booming in cities like Los Angeles and Orange County. In recent years, state lawmakers have implemented various rules and regulations to make it easier for homeowners to build ADUs on their properties. These changes have helped streamline the permitting process and reduce some of the barriers that previously hindered ADU construction.

However, despite the growing popularity of ADUs, they were still restricted to being used as rental units. This limited their potential impact on the housing market and the ability of homeowners to fully utilize their properties. The new law aims to change that by allowing property owners to sell ADUs as separate entities.

By allowing the sale of ADUs, homeowners have the opportunity to generate additional income or potentially sell the unit to a lower-income or first-time homebuyer. This can help alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with homeownership and provide more affordable housing options in high-demand areas.

It is important to note that the new law does not automatically apply to all cities and counties in California. Each individual jurisdiction has the option to opt-in and adopt these new rules. This means that cities and counties such as Los Angeles and Orange County have the power to decide whether or not they will allow the separate sale of ADUs.

For homeowners in cities and counties where the new law is adopted, it presents an exciting opportunity to unlock the full potential of their properties. They can now consider selling their ADUs separately, providing a pathway to homeownership for those who may not have been able to afford it otherwise.

While the new law is a step in the right direction towards addressing the housing crisis in California, it is important to consider the potential challenges and implications that may arise. The demand for affordable housing is high, and the availability of ADUs for sale may lead to increased competition and potentially higher prices.

Additionally, the decision for cities and counties to opt-in and adopt the new rules may vary. Some jurisdictions may embrace the opportunity to increase housing options, while others may have concerns about the impact on their existing housing market. It will be essential for local governments to carefully evaluate the benefits and drawbacks before making a decision.

In conclusion, the new California law allowing the separate sale of ADUs presents a promising opportunity to address the housing crisis and provide more affordable housing options. By allowing property owners to sell ADUs separately from the main house, lower-income and first-time homebuyers can have a chance at homeownership. However, it is crucial for cities and counties to carefully consider the implications and decide whether to opt-in and adopt these new rules. Only then can the full potential of ADUs be realized in helping to alleviate the housing shortage in California.




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