How An Unpermitted ADU Can Become Legalized


Many homeowners purchase their homes with an unpermitted ADU or addition. These were built in a time where having an unpermitted ADU, or UDU (Unpermitted Dwelling Unit) had more benefits than a legal ADU.There are now rules in place to support the construction of ADUs, therefore licensing your unit will be beneficial for numerous reasons.

If the owner fulfills the guidelines, including offering affordable housing units. Los Angeles encourages permitting UDU’s in order to create more affordable housing, and these existing apartments may legitimately enter the housing market.

According to the Los Angeles City Planning website, the UDU Ordinance makes legalizing a UDU easier than ever. The website states, “The ordinance established a voluntary program that allows property owners to legalize qualifying unpermitted units, assuming all life safety conditions are met.”

The Potential Issues With Having An Unpermitted ADU

First and foremost, an illegal ADU adds significantly less value than a permitted ADU on your property. Additionally, insurance would not pay for damages if an event occurred to the unpermitted ADU, such as an earthquake, fire, or flood. Legalizing your ADU essentially shields you and your renters from legal action, and the process is now simpler than ever.

Having an unlicensed ADU and renting it out comes with serious risks. As the owner, you may face costly fines, citations, and legal action if they rent out an illegal property. Even in court, your tenants may sue you for a return of any rent and utility payments made. So, by making your unit legal, you can rent out your ADU without concern and prevent the loss of already accumulated rental money.

Why You Should Be Legalizing Your ADU

The legalization of an ADU in the state of California has become simpler than ever in 2022. You run a much lower chance of losing money, plus you get to gain from your property's increased value. Even for those who use an ADU for purposes other than rental revenue, legalizing it can give you insurance coverage and allow you to rent it out in the future.

How To Legalize Your UDU

There is a 6 step process to legalizing your ADU. All steps are shown on the LA City Planning Website. The city has streamlined this process in order to create more affordable housing in Los Angeles.

Step 1 - Complete Pre-Application with DCP, HCIDLA, and LADBS.

Step 2 - Receive clearance of Plan Check with LADBS Step 3- Obtaining Planning Clearance For DCP Housing Unit

Step 4 - Acquiring the Covenant and Affordable Housing Clearance for HCIDLA

Step 5 - Obtaining Planning Clearance for DCP Public Counters.

Step 6 - Receiving Final Clearance from LADBS for your permitted ADU!

SKS Construction can assist in plan check, permitting, and even build of your new ADU, making the process a breeze. A full-service design/build, engineering, and construction firm, SKS Construction was established in Los Angeles, California, in 1987. SKS Construction is recognized as a leader in engineering and construction of New Construction, Seismic Retrofitting and Balcony Repairs. The SKS team is composed of in-house designers, licensed contractors, and experienced engineers around the clock to attend to your every engineering and construction need.

Contact SKS Today For A Free Consultation!


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