Legally rentable property

4 Replies

Hello!

I am seeing SFH listing with what seems to be unpermitted detached units (1bd + 1 ba). Are you legally allowed to rent unpermitted living spaces? The listing description seems to be advertising that you can but to my understanding that's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Alternatively, how difficult is it to get approval for permitting a detached property? I know there will be requirements that need to be met but it also seems like there isn't a guarantee for a permit and don't want to buy the property if it won't generate cashflow I'm targeting. Are there any government resources that will help me understand my chances? I am in Everett, WA

@Aileen Yu , unfortunately, many of the ADUs in Seattle are not permitted and we need to go through the ADU permits after purchasing the house.

You can check the Seattle ADU requirements in here:

https://www.seattle.gov/DPD/Pu...

When I am showing the house before putting an offer, If it is a potential basement ADU, I check many things like ceiling height (min of 6'8" or 6'4" under ducts), window egress (5.7 sq ft or bigger),...

If it is a (Mother-in-law) or (detached ADU), I also do my checks to see if permitting it down the road is feasible, or it will be a hassle with the City.

@Aileen Yu Realist and County Land Use records are your friends here. In addition to the code requirements that Sherief mentioned (ceiling height, egress, as well as heat sources and electrical panel locations) you'll want to see if land use and zoning match up with the properties current use. 

This can be really confusing the first time you look it up, but becomes second nature quickly. If you'd like to message me the property address or listing link I can show you how to pull those up in Everett as well.

Cheers!