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Frequently Asked Questions About Building an Accessory Dwelling Unit in Los Angeles

Building an accessory dwelling unit in Los Angeles could yield significant benefits if you’re a homeowner seeking additional revenue. Here are a few things you should know about the process. EcoSmart Builders helps Los Angeles area property owners construct beautiful, sustainable dwellings on their properties, giving them the support they need to navigate the entire process, from planning and permitting to construction.

If you’re considering building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), you’re probably full of questions about the process. Here are answers to a few of the most common.

Q: Which properties can have an accessory dwelling unit added to them?

A: Accessory dwelling units in Los Angeles can be constructed on any property that has been zoned as a residence. This can mean a single-family home or a multifamily complex. However, a single-family residential property is limited to one standard ADU and one junior ADU (JADU).

Q: Can an accessory dwelling unit be built anywhere on a property?

A: A standard ADU can be built in a backyard space either independently of the primary dwelling (detached), as a garage conversion, or as an attached unit. The ADU has to be within the side and rear property lines at a distance of no less than four feet if the structure is not a garage conversion.

Q: How big can my ADU be?

A: Standard ADUs can be up to 1,200 square feet. JADUs can be no larger than 500 square feet.

Q: Can an accessory dwelling unit be sold independently of the primary residence?

A: You cannot sell a detached accessory dwelling unit by itself in California.

Q: If I build an accessory dwelling unit, do I have to reside on the property?

A: If you build a standard ADU, you can rent both the primary residence and the ADU. However, if you build a JADU, you have to abide by the occupancy residency requirement which states that the owner must live on the property.

Q: Can a standard ADU and a junior ADU be built on the same residential property?

A: Yes, it is possible to build an ADU and a JADU on a single-family residential property, but California law stipulates that the property owner must reside on a residential property with a JADU.

Q: Do I have to add additional parking space for an ADU?

A: If your property is located a walking distance of a one-half mile from public transportation, you do not have to add parking spaces.

EcoSmart Builders provides residential property owners the resources and expertise they need to build exceptional accessory dwelling units in the greater Los Angeles area. To learn more about our services, please visit our information page for additional details.

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