Steve DiGioia

New Laws Regarding ADU a Game-Changer for California Housing

The new year needs new updates in laws, one such pertains to the existing laws of ADU.

ADU stands for accessory dwelling units, a new law that has been added to the constitution of California. The new laws, one of them known as AB 1033, allow the homeowners of the city to sell their ADUs separately from their main house.

What is ADU?

An accessory dwelling unit is a legal term that includes an alternative house or apartment shared with the main house. These are built on the same land and any area within the land can be converted into a small home. The unit cannot be bought or sold separately but can be used for rental purposes as a source of income.

With the implementation of the law, now an ADU can be sold separately.

Advantages of ADU

ADUs add value to the existing property and offers affordable construction of housing and allowing an extra source of income through rent. One of the biggest advantages includes providing affordable housing for families who cannot afford a proper house.

To Kickstart 2024, the California government has introduced several ADU laws. One of the most prominent of all is the AB 1033.

California in the past prohibited local agencies from selling the ADUs separately from their primary owners. However, the new bill will allow homeowners to sell more than one ADU separately from their primary house with approval from the California Department of Real Estate. The law will also allow the homeowners to create their own Homeowners Association helping to balance and manage the property between the primary location and the ADU.

However, the people have mixed feelings about the implementation of the law.

The chair of the Casita Coalition, Raphael Perez finds the law as a great encouragement to build smaller housing which will give people the opportunity to buy a home. He also believed the law would help the senior citizens who own a home but need more income, to sell a part of their land as ADU.

However, Geoff Hueter, Chair of Neighbors for a Better San Diego, expressed his concern which conflicts with San Diego’s current allowance of multiple ADUs per property. According to him, the new law would give the outside developers to take advantage of the law, purchasing a single-family home and converting it to build multiple ADUs which would not provide sufficient space for a family home and would also lead to a congestion of the neighborhood.

As of now, the city officials are working on the evaluation and implementation of the law to match with the mayor’s idea of supporting the opportunities of homeownership for the people.

Other Laws Implemented

The other law is AB 976 which includes the renting of ADUs, a law that was about to expire but has been renewed with the new law. The law would help in opening more ADUs for rental purposes, increasing house affordability. It would also allow the owners to live elsewhere which was earlier denied.

Along with that comes AB 434, which requires all the cities along with the municipalities to adopt the ADUs by next year and have a pre-approved ADU plan scheme to simplify the permitting process. These plans can be submitted by the designers and architect for the pre-approval from the city.

Each city and county have their own set of rules and regulations and would also have the same for ADU laws implementation in their areas.

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