In California, Could My HOA Actually Prevent Me From Constructing an ADU?

February 26, 2023 Off By Janet Crossley

As California’s housing crisis worsens, a growing number of people are looking for ways to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on their property. After all, an ADU may help aging parents or adult children by providing much-needed extra income or housing. But what if your homeowners’ association (HOA) finds out about your intentions? Can they stop you from building an ADU?

California Homeowner’s Associations

There is no easy yes or no response to this question. Although HOAs have the right to limit the type of development authorized in their community, they are bound by state and local laws. A number of California legislation protect homeowners’ rights to build ADUs.

For example, Assembly Bill 2215 of 2016 prohibits HOAs from putting unreasonable limits on homeowners’ rights to establish ADUs on their property. Furthermore, in 2017, Senate Law 13, also known as the Accessory Dwelling Unit law, was approved, making it more straightforward for homeowners to get the necessary permissions to build an ADU. Finally, Assembly Bill 2406, passed in 2018, requires homeowners associations to allow the development of ADUs up to 1200 square feet in size.

ADUs Are Becoming More Popular

ADUs are small residences on the same site as the main house. These apartments are becoming increasingly popular in California, where rising housing costs and a paucity of land have created a need for more affordable living choices. One of the main benefits of ADUs is that they may be used as long-term rentals, allowing homeowners to postpone mortgage payments.

Because ADUs are often located at the back of houses or on smaller lots with no existing units, they only require new construction or considerable renovations on occasion. As a result, they might be a practical and cost-effective alternative for homeowners in high-priced real estate markets. In today’s hard housing market, an ADU might help you increase your rental earnings or make your home more competitive. You must, however, first understand the construction process.

The Construction Methodology

ADU building can be a difficult and time-consuming process. To begin, you must investigate a number of critical factors, such as local regulations, zoning constraints, and the services offered by your desired builder. You may deal directly with a professional ADU builder, such as Acton ADU, to ensure that your ADU is both practical and visually appealing. Their design professionals will work with you to construct a one-of-a-kind building plan that compliments your present home.

They can ensure the lifespan of your new ADU due to their experience and enthusiasm for exceptional craftsmanship. 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 more information about their techniques, go to

What Restrictions May a California HOA Impose on ADU Construction?

A homeowner’s association in California may put a range of restrictions on the construction of an ADU. They may, for example, impose minimum and maximum lot sizes or prohibit the use of specific building materials. Furthermore, HOAs may place limitations on the activities and behaviors that are permitted on the property, such as noise levels or the presence of pets.

Homeowners, on the other hand, have many options for getting around these restrictions. For example, they may barter with their HOA to secure approval for the proposed ADU build. In order to challenge any property borders, they may also speak with an attorney that specializes in HOA law. California homeowners that are proactive in interacting with their HOA can overcome any barriers that may arise throughout the ADU development process.

Determining Whether Your HOA Will Allow You to Build an ADU

The first step in determining if you may build an ADU on your property is to contact your housing association. Before you start making designs:

  • Check to see if the HOA regulations in your selected region allow for the construction of an ADU.
  • Visit your HOA’s website or meet with a representative in person to learn more about the limitations imposed by your HOA.
  • Consult an ADU-educated real estate agent for information on local zoning restrictions and a list of contractors that specialize in the construction of secondary structures such as ADUs.

Researching and planning for an ADU will ensure that you have the flexibility and resources needed to construct a space that meets your needs while also complementing the surroundings of your property. As a result, if you are serious about evaluating if an ADU is a viable option, you should start as soon as feasible.

Obtaining ADU Approval Through Your HOA

When preparing to build an ADU in Redwood City, CA, it is critical to collaborate closely with your HOA to obtain the necessary licenses. Here are some pointers to help you navigate this operation successfully:

  • Communicate openly and honestly with your HOA. The more transparent and specific you are about your goals, the easier it will be for people to understand what you’re trying to accomplish. This increases the chances of them showing acceptance and support.
  • Thoroughly investigate all applicable planning and zoning requirements. Your HOA will have criteria or restrictions that must be met in order for your project to be approved; thus, it is critical that you familiarize yourself with these standards before beginning the process. You should also consult with a competent architect or builder who can help you design an ADU that meets all of your requirements.
  • Check to see if your initial assumptions are fair. Prior to obtaining HOA permission, it is critical to remain dedicated to a certain design or idea, as this may hamper your ability to work closely and successfully with them during the application process. If you have an open mind, you will be more likely to find common ground and build a positive connection with your company.

Last Thoughts

Even if they are not thrilled with the concept, your HOA is likely to prevent you from constructing an ADU, provided you follow all of the relevant regulations. A number of California legislation protect homeowners’ rights to build ADUs. As long as you follow these restrictions, you should be able to carry out your plans without intervention from your HOA.