What is a JADU?

What is a JADU?

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A JADU (junior accessory dwelling unit) is an ADU created out of existing square footage that is part of the primary residence.

In California, JADUs have limitations that ADUs do not. For example, the owner must occupy the main house in order to rent out the JADU. The JADU may be no larger than 500 square feet, and parking may be required depending on your jurisdiction.

These restrictions will apply to anyone who buys your home in the future.

If you’re OK with the JADU restrictions, you can turn your attached garage or other accessory space into a JADU and also build a detached ADU in your backyard. That’s a big plus for homeowners who want to maximize their property’s rental potential. What is a JADU? Will fill you in on the details.

Size

500 sq. ft. max.

150 sq. ft. Extra for Ingress and Egress

Only if your jurisdiction specifically allows it. According to CA state law, that extra 150 square feet applies to ADUs only.

Location

Must be within a proposed or existing single-family dwelling or accessory structure, such as a garage. According to California Department of Housing & Community Development the accessory structure, like a garage, must be attached to the home to qualify

Separate Entry

Exterior access (a separate entrance for the JADU) is required from the proposed or existing single-family dwelling.

Interior Entry to the Primary House

Not required.

Parking

No parking required for a JADU, except if you convert your attached garage, in which case the parking must be replaced.

Bathroom

May have a separate bathroom or shared with the single-family dwelling.

Kitchen

Must meet “Efficiency Kitchen” requirements:

  • A food preparation counter and storage cabinets that are of reasonable size in relation to the size of the JADU
  • Cooking facilities with appliances–240-volt outlets are permitted
  • No restriction on maximum waste-line diameter

A JADU is a legally rentable unit

You can put an ADU and a JADU on the property and rent them both out. However, according to Section 65852.22. Section A, you’ll see that owner-occupancy is required for the JADU.

You may be thinking — well, wait! Owner Occupancy was banned from 2020-2025 under the new ADU laws. You’d be correct, except it only applies to ADUs, not JADUs.

Here’s where the owner-occupancy clause is broken out Section 65852.22:

(2) [JADUs] Require owner-occupancy in the single-family residence in which the junior accessory dwelling unit will be permitted. The owner may reside in either the remaining portion of the structure or the newly created junior accessory dwelling unit. Owner-occupancy shall not be required if the owner is another governmental agency, land trust, or housing organization.

That section goes on to talk about deed restriction, which will also apply to your ADU.

(3) Require the recordation of a deed restriction, which shall run with the land, shall be filed with the permitting agency, and shall include both of the following:

   (A) A prohibition on the sale of the junior accessory dwelling unit separate from the sale of the single-family residence, including a statement that the deed restriction may be enforced against future purchasers.

   (B) A restriction on the size and attributes of the junior accessory dwelling unit that conforms with this section.

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