How To Legalize An Unpermitted ADU

How To Legalize An Unpermitted ADU

There are a lot of laws and stipulations surrounding building an ADU. If you decided to go ahead and build yours without obtaining the proper permits but want to legally rent it out now, then you are going to need to complete a few important steps. Read on to find out how to legalize an unpermitted ADU.

Assess The Current ADU

Whether your illegal ADU is a garage conversion or new construction, the first step is to determine areas where your ADU needs improvement. To do this, you will need to have a good understanding of your local government’s zoning laws which you can get from your local planning board.

You will need to take into consideration aspects such as:

  • Setback requirements
  • Plumbing
  • Parking requirements
  • If it contains a kitchen and bathroom
  • Energy restrictions
  • Electrical

An ADU professional familiar with local building codes should be able to assess your property and let you know what needs to be done.

Create Plans For Change

The next step is to draw up plans to make those changes happen. An ADU planner or contractor should be able to help you with this.

Submit Plans For Approval

Many jurisdictions offer unit legalization programs that make this step much easier. Your local government will need to approve your plans for change before you can begin bringing the unit up to code.

Start Construction

With your plans approved, you can begin working with an ADU contractor to complete the necessary updates. The only catch to legalizing your ADU is that an inspector will have to come periodically during construction to check things. We recommended having them come right away to let you know what they need to see to prevent having to open up completed work.

Inspectors will do their best to not make you have to open up completed work (hence why they come during construction) but sometimes it is necessary to see things like plumbing and sanitation to ensure it is up to code.

Legalize Your Unit

Once you have passed all inspections and brought your ADU up to code, it will be a legalized unit.

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