Unit legalization programs have made legalizing an unpermitted ADU easier than ever in many places. If you are considering legalizing your unit to legally rent it out or for insurance purposes, we can help. Here is a quick guide on how to legalize an ADU.
Start By Assessing
Since you did not obtain the proper permits, it is likely that your ADU is not up to code. You will need to talk with your local planning board about building codes and zoning requirements. Once you are familiar with these regulations, you can see what aspects of your ADU meet them, and which need changing.
Pay close attention to:
- Structural requirements
- Square footage requirements
- Setback requirements
- Parking requirements
- If it contains a kitchen and bathroom
- Energy restrictions
An ADU professional should also be able to help you identify which aspects of your unit need changing.
Come Up With A Plan
With a solid idea of what needs to be changed, it is time to come up with the plans needed to make those changes. Working with a group of professionals will make this step much easier and help you with the next step.
Gets Plans Approved
Your local government will need to approve your plans for change before you can begin making them. Having a professional draw them up makes them more likely to be approved on the first try.
With approved plans, you can begin making the necessary changes. The key to this step is to work with an ADU professional, not just a general contractor. They will be more aware of the laws and the inspection process, making the construction go a lot smoother.
During construction, an inspector will come periodically to ensure everything is being brought up to code. They will do their best not to interrupt finished work, but sometimes they have to. This is often the case for plumbing and sanitation. They need to make sure it is up to code even if you have finished construction on it. So, try to schedule their visit before you close everything up.
Once you have passed all of your inspections, your ADU unit will be legalized and can start generating your legal rent income.