An Accessory Dwelling Unit, or an ADU, is defined as a separate dwelling that is either attached to or detached from a main home. You might know them as granny flats, in-law units, guesthouses, backyard homes, or second homes. ADUs can provide some great opportunities for additional rental income, whether you want to rent one out on your own property or you have a home with space to add an additional property.
Many enterprising Long Beach property owners are turning garages into rental homes or building separate units on top of garages. Not only are they great at providing you with additional income, they also meet the needs of a community that’s feeling an affordable housing crunch.
There are several garage conversion standards in place that will need your attention if you’re planning such a project. Make sure you’re following all the laws and regulations, many of which were updated as recently as January, 2020.
New ADU Garage Conversion Standards
New ADU Garage Conversion Standards went into place on January 1, 2020. These are far more flexible than those that were in place since 2017. Owners can now convert a single-story detached garage into an ADU within the City of Long Beach’s single-family residential zones.
You’ll need a permit, and you’ll need to apply for that permit through the City. You or your contractor will have to request a permit in-person to convert a garage to an ADU. With your application, you’ll need to submit a floor plan, photos, and other documentation that demonstrates what you plan to do and where.
Occupancy and Parking Rules
There are other rules that have been relaxed for owners who want to offer ADUs on their properties. For example, you no longer have to be an owner/occupant. If you’re renting out a primary residence such as a single-family home and you want to rent out a garage apartment or a guest house separately without living in the primary residence yourself, you can. You don’t have to provide parking for the ADU. You do have to maintain parking for the primary residence, unless the garage itself is being converted.
Utilities will depend on the dwelling and the primary residence. In some cases, you’ll be able to share the utilities between the primary and accessory unit.
Junior Accessory Dwelling Units
Long Beach rental property owners can also consider incorporating a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit or a JADU. These are units that are no larger than 500 square feet. They are completely contained within a single-family home. The JADU may have its own bathroom or it may share a bathroom with the primary residence. It’s already part of the house; it’s not a garage or a separate dwelling.
There are different requirements for multi-family properties and single-family homes. The City of Long Beach can also help any rental property owners who are interested in converting a garage or creating granny flats or backyard homes.
We’d also be happy to tell you more about how the application and approval process works. Contact us at CMC Realty for help with ADUs or anything pertaining to your Long Beach property management needs.