Accessory Dwelling Units

What is an ADU?

An ADU (An accessory Dwelling Unit) is a secondary dwelling unit with complete independent living facilities for one or more persons and generally takes three forms:

  • Detached: The unit is separated from the primary structure
  • Attached: The unit is attached to the primary structure
  • Repurposed Existing Space: Space (e.g., master bedroom) within the primary residence is converted into an independent living unit.  – Junior Accessory Dwelling Units are 500 square feet or less and must be completely contained within the space of an existing structure.



More and more homeowners want to add an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, to their property to supplement their income with rental income, to increase the value of their property, or to provide space for extended family.

Several bills have been passed in California in recent years to make it easier for homeowners to add ADU’s to their property, and the trend is continuing.  

Here is a brief list of some of the bills:

  • SB. 1069, from 2016 sponsored by Senator Wieckowski– eases restrictions on the parking requirements a city or county could impose, lessens utility connection charges and prohibits separate utility connection requirements for ADU’s contained within an existing residence or accessory structures.
  • A.B. 2299, from 2016 sponsored by Assembly member Boom, requires a city or county to approve an ADU if it complies with certain size, configuration & setback requirements.
  • AB 2406, from 2016 sponsored by Assembly member Thurmond, regarding junior accessory dwelling units.  Prohibits an ordinance from requiring, as a condition of granting a permit for a junior accessory dwelling unit, additional parking requirements.



The ordinances on ADU’s can differ from city to city, and county to county.  By learning the laws in your city or county, you can be a resource for clients who want to add an ADU to their property.   You are the one they will turn to when they need a loan or when they want to sell or buy a home with an ADU.

Woodland Hills Mortgage funds Owner Occupied, Consumer Purpose loans, including purchases. We also make business purpose, fix and flip, commercial property, apartment building and land loans.


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