Author Topic: Converting garage into rental apartment?  (Read 12854 times)

Stachsquatch

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Converting garage into rental apartment?
« on: May 19, 2013, 11:50:35 PM »
What considerations are involved in converting a detached garage into a rental apartment? It's about 500 SqF.

Stachsquatch

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Re: Converting garage into rental apartment?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2013, 11:51:17 PM »
Oh and thanks in advance for any replies. I don't know what details to include, but am more than happy to answer any questions if it helps clarify the notion.

marty998

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Re: Converting garage into rental apartment?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 02:13:12 AM »
Depends on your local council regulations?

Down here it varies. So many different requirements - Kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, power, water, driveway, sewage, fences etc etc

People spend more money navigating the legal requirements then actually building the dwelling

freelancerNfulltimer

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Re: Converting garage into rental apartment?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 01:09:13 PM »
I rent out my garage apartment. I live in a historic neighborhood where there are many duplexes and triplexes among the single family homes. The detached apartments are a little less common but many of the older houses do have them.

Do you live in a similar place? Do you have any rental listings that you can review to see what the comparable rents would be? How much would it cost you to convert the garage? Do other units have Washer/Dryers or dishwashers or AC units? Can you get the electric metered separately? Can you get a separate mailing address for the property? What are your local zoning laws? Do you have an extra parking space for your future tenant? Are you comfortable having a stranger living in your backyard?

For me it was easy. The property was already separately metered and addresses when I purchased it. I just had to do some renovations. I added central AC, a Washer/Dryer stackable unit, redid the kitchen and flooring and added a Dishwasher. Now, I have a very desirable unit for rent and because I got a great deal on the main property the rent greatly reduces my mortgage.

Hamster

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Re: Converting garage into rental apartment?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 01:35:00 PM »
If you want to do it legally, the first step is talking to the city (or county) planning/zoning/development office to see what the legal options are for converting garage space to an ADU (accessory dwelling unit). 

Where I live, to have a legal/permitted ADU, it must be attached to the main house, must meet code requirements, must pass a period of time where neighbors have an opportunity to raise objections, must match the lines/character of the main house an neighborhood, and you have to complete an attestation every 2 years that you are residing in the main portion of the house. Currently we are also required to add off-street covered parking for an ADU (!?!?!). These requirements are extremely location-dependent.

For a duplex, you need to be zoned to allow a duplex, and may need separate metering for some utilities, etc. Duplex is more flexible in that you wouldn't need to occupy any part of the property yourself.

As far as doing it illegally (or unpermitted), a lot of people do that - I'm not conding or advising it. The risks depend a lot on the enforcement where you live. Even if you aren't doing it unpermitted, you still want to pay the appropriate income taxes, have a legally binding lease agreement, etc. You could even ask the zoning/development people how strict enforcement is in your area.

Mr Mark

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Re: Converting garage into rental apartment?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 11:28:06 PM »
The code as discussed earlier is key. Before engaging the inspectors though, I'd first look at the ones advertised already nearby. That will give you a rough target standard.

And then, where is that line between a friend who lives with you right now while (naturally!) Contributing to household running costs, and a declarable formal tenant?

A tenency agreement?

It can be as blurry as you can make it. If you will it dude it is no dream. So if you have a guest in mind, who is arguably a friend, go for it.

The issue will be building permits in general I'd say.