Accessory dwelling units, or ADUs for short, are starting to become more and more popular throughout the United States. So, what is an ADU? Can you set up your own ADU? That is what we want to look at on this page.
What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?
You can think of an accessory dwelling unit as a unit inside of a unit. So, think along the lines of a flat that has been built inside of a house. The flat is separate from the rest of the house. As a result, it can be leased out separately.
Most accessory dwelling units are internal ADUs i.e. they are physically located in the building. However, more and more detached ADUs are starting to appear. This means buildings that are on the same land as the original unit but are a completely separate building.
Can You Have an Accessory Dwelling Unit on Your Property?
In almost all cases, yes. You will have to look into the planning laws for the town or city that you live in.
Most towns or cities will allow you to set up an ADU inside of your property without permission. There may be some usage requirements in place, though. For example, in some towns and cities, the owner will actually have to be living inside the bulk of the property. They can’t, for instance, split down a house into three different flats and leave it. They would actually need permission for that.
If you are planning on building an ADU on your property i.e. an external ADU, then you will probably need planning permission for that building. You may need to state what you plan to use that building for when you apply for planning permission. However, once again, it is all going to be dependent on what the requirements for your town or city are.
Will it Decrease the Value of Your Property?
In theory, you are splitting the property up into multiple properties. The idea is to have one part of the property completely inaccessible to the other. This means that if you do sell your property on, the value may be ever so slightly reduced. However, if you are not planning on selling your property on, then you will be able to benefit from the extra income that having an ADU offers. In fact, that is going to be the main advantage of an ADU.
Some people do complain that more ADUs will bring down the value of properties in the surrounding area. As a result, many communities are not really happy about the number of ADUs. However, there is the major benefit of ensuring affordable housing for everybody.
So, there you have it. Now you know what an ADU is all about. If you are planning on living in one, then great. It is affordable housing. If you are planning on making your own ADU, then also great. It can provide stable rental income.