The number of people who are converting their homes into accessory dwelling units (ADUs) is on the rise. Some homeowners transform existing spaces while others build an addition or ADU for more space, and this trend may be growing due to increased demand from renters seeking better living conditions with less hassle than moving out entirely.
A recent study from the National Association of Home Builders found that 20% of remodeling projects undertaken by American homebuilders were done specifically so you could turn one part of your house—like its basement—into something else: either another room, storage area, or fully-fledged lodging unit.
What is an ADU?
An ADU is a small residential space that can be added onto your home. These are often defined as being on the same lot as an existing single-family house and they provide more living area. You might have heard of “mother-in-law suites” or “granny flats”—those are ADUs. The lack of affordable housing in expensive metropolitan areas and a reduced rate (or no increase) over the past few years has led many people to remodel their homes into ADUs. The reasons for this are varied, including increased demand from renters who can’t find good quality apartments close by (or even at all), and an older population that needs living space. Affordability is a top priority for many people who are struggling to find place they can call home—and ADUs are touted as a solution.
Community Association ADU Struggles
One of the greatest fears that community association leaders face when adding ADUs to a common interest development is whether or not these additional units will have unforeseen consequences for those living in such areas. In some circumstances, it’s possible for an individual unit within your HOA complex could be changed dramatically solely from having neighbors with different residential needs than what was originally planned. A major change in architecture could also impact the association’s aesthetics and further drive down property values.
If your association is looking to secure its property values and insure against the future, Ardent Residential offers million-dollar property insurance coverage through the Ardent Value Guard project. To learn more about protecting your home, click here.
Can my HOA restrict the building of an ADU?
Laws surrounding ADUs vary from state to state and association to association. In California, for example, you can’t be “unreasonably” restricted from building your ADU, although the association has some leeway in determining the size of the renovation, and you’ll need to follow state laws. The State of Florida allows for ADUs in cities that suffer from a shortage of affordable rental housing. Florida homeowners must sign an affidavit that assures they’ll rent out only to moderate or low-income renters at a reasonable cost in order to receive a building permit.
As with any addition to your association home, though, the best place to start is by contacting your Board of Directors or your management company.