In California, Can an HOA Legally Prevent You From Building an ADU?


With the housing market in California in such chaos, a growing number of people are considering establishing accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on their own property. For instance, a secondary dwelling unit might provide both a place to live and a source of income for a struggling parent or adult kid. But what if your HOA finds out? Can they prevent you from constructing an ADU?

California Homeowners Associations

To put it another way, there is no straightforward yes or no response to this question. While HOAs have the authority to put limits on the sorts of structures that can be built inside their communities, they must nevertheless abide by the laws of the states and municipalities in which they are located. Numerous restrictions exist in California to protect landowners’ rights to construct ADUs.

The 2016 Assembly Bill 2215 prevents homeowners’ associations from putting unjustified limitations on property owners’ ability to create auxiliary dwelling units. Senate Bill 13, also known as the Accessory Dwelling Unit Act, was approved in 2017 and simplified the licensing process for ADUs constructed on private property. Lastly, under Assembly Bill 2406, which was passed in 2018, HOAs must allow the establishment of ADUs up to 1200 square feet in size.

ADUs Are Becoming More Popular

ADUs are small apartments that share several amenities with the main house. Increasing demand for such units may be attributed to the state of California, where rising property prices and a scarcity of suitable land have created a need for more affordable housing options. The opportunity to rent out ADUs long-term offers homeowners money that may be used to pay off debts.

ADUs seldom require new construction or major modifications because they are often located at the back of houses or on smaller lots with no buildings. As a result, in expensive real estate markets, they may be a prudent and cost-effective alternative for homeowners. In today’s competitive real estate market, an ADU might be the answer to your problems. Before you begin, though, you must first comprehend how things are put together.

The Building Techniques Used

Creating an ADU may be a time-consuming and labor-intensive project. As a first step, look into the local legislation and zoning requirements, as well as the services offered by the builder you’ve chosen. Choosing a qualified ADU building firm, such as Acton ADU, allows you to interact directly with the team to guarantee that your ADU is built to your specifications. You can rely on their designers to help you create a one-of-a-kind structure that compliments your present house.

Their knowledge and abilities will ensure the longevity of your new ADU. Acton ADU will help you fulfill your vision for a beautiful and functional ADU, whether you want a simple and minimalist design or an exciting addition to your home’s living area. For additional information about their techniques, please click here.

How Do California HOAs Control ADU Construction?

Homeowners’ associations in California may be barred from creating extra housing units. Minimum and maximum lot sizes, as well as restrictions on certain construction materials, might be specified. Some homeowners’ associations even have rules on how loud gatherings may be and if dogs are allowed.

Homeowners, on the contrary hand, have a variety of choices for bypassing these restrictions. For example, the homeowner might approach the HOA and request approval for the proposed ADU to build. Instead, they might hire an HOA attorney to challenge the property limitations. California homeowners who are proactive and follow correct processes while dealing with their HOA may be able to prevent or decrease issues when establishing an ADU.

Deciding Whether Your HOA Will Allow an ADU

The first step in determining whether to build an ADU on your home is to get permission from your housing association. Before you begin building:

  • Check to discover whether your selected community’s HOA regulations allow for the construction of an ADU.
  • To learn more about the limitations that apply to you, visit the HOA’s website or chat with a representative.
  • Call an ADU-experienced real estate agent; they can shed light on local zoning limits and recommend trustworthy builders that specialize in the construction of secondary structures such as ADUs.

Researching and planning for an ADU may help ensure that you have the freedom and resources to construct a room that meets your needs while also complimenting the natural surroundings of your land. As a result, if you’re serious about evaluating if an ADU is a viable option for you, you should get started right away.

Ways to Get HOA Clearance for Your ADU

It is vital to work closely with your HOA while planning the building of an ADU in Santa Clara, CA. Here are some pointers to help you do this work as quickly and effectively as possible:

  • Be straightforward and honest in your talks with the HOA. The more honest and transparent you are about your goals, the easier it will be for people to see where you’re headed. As a result, they are more likely to provide their blessing and acceptance.
  • Research all zoning and planning regulations thoroughly. Before you begin, you should be aware of the limits imposed by your HOA since your HOA may have criteria or limitations that must be satisfied in order for your project to be allowed. You should also consult with a professional architect or builder to ensure that your ADU conforms with local building requirements.
  • It would be advantageous if you established a fair starting point for your ambitions. When gaining HOA authorization, it is crucial to be fully committed to a certain design or concept, as this may impair your ability to work closely and efficiently with them during the application process. If you have an open mind, you’ll have a far better chance of finding mutual understanding with your association and creating a strong relationship with them.

Final Thoughts

Even if your HOA isn’t thrilled with the concept, they can typically only prevent you from constructing an ADU if you follow all of the rules. Numerous regulations exist in California to protect homeowners’ rights to build ADUs. Your HOA should only object to your plans if they violate the regulations. Don’t hesitate to contact Acton ADU’s pros for assistance in selecting the best strategies for making them pleased.