CA SB 1069 - Los Angeles Garage Conversion (High Cap Rate)

10 Replies

Hello BP, I recently read about Los Angeles relaxing the requirements for additional dwelling units on lots zoned for single residences to comply with SB 1069. I have a detached garage and if the cost of permitting and converting it to a studio is not outrageous it has the potential to be a lucrative rental unit. Has anyone undertaken a permitted garage conversion since SB 1069 took effect? If so, how difficult was the process and were you satisfied with your contractor?

we have helped a number of clients. It is really exciting and much needed. Each city/ County are different. I do have a referral for you. Happy to assist.

Permits are easy, each or most cities have a “template” version of what they want or how they want it done. Outrageous? Depends on how cheap of an investor you are.

Originally posted by @Manolo D. :

Permits are easy, each or most cities have a “template” version of what they want or how they want it done. Outrageous? Depends on how cheap of an investor you are.

Hey Manolo I understand your frustration when investors are cheap and don't understand ROI on building

The price of permits are cheap relatively... it's the planning and ROI on the actual build that can get you.

Can you elaborate on this?  Do you know about Garage or accessory units etc

@Will F. I agree, there are some out there that want everything free or pay for you to eat a $2 meal every meal, it sometimes gives me the bad impression. I know we are all in business but everyone needs to eat and pay rent, all investors need to understand that or keep that in their mind. 

Permits are nothing, it is what goes on before you get issued the permit that's expensive. There is a less expensive way if you want to simply do it yourself through info bulletins (for example http://www.ladbs.org/docs/default-source/publicati...), the city of LA (and will apply to some cities) and other cities/counties usually have these kinds of instruments when building owners use it commonly in submitting plans or doing it themselves. To be honest, if investors pick up their phone and ask the city, they will ultimately find what they are looking for without any "guess"es or second hand opinion, not sure why they find it hard to do. Regarding the plans, you do need to spend time to look at them and know how to use them. The new SB is nothing special, you still have to go through a regular permitting as what you need on any additional dwelling, the SB only allows "garage" to be converted in addition to ADU or "granny" units or units above the garage. From a second hand source (no ties to any legal bill whatsoever), it could not go over 1,200 sf and must not be less than 5' away from property lines. Again, the SB only "allows" a garage to be an additional living space, and the regular permit process is still there -- aka meet code --, you can install bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen; whereas you could not before.

Im currently in the middle of a garage conversion on my rental property and I have a great guy that made my plans and got the permit for a fair price. Im looking at the cost for this one in particular to hit under 20k since it was illegally converted in the past and had existing sewer and water already hooked up. Besides the obvious things like kitchenette and bathroom, the city of LA requires you seal the slab with a moisture barrier and that you insulate the crap out of it because of a California title 23 requirement. I'd be happy to keep you posted as I go through the process and give you my draftsman's info. I am sub contracting jobs for each part of the process and admittedly it my first rodeo and its going slow... but the front house is rented so I'm at least breaking even while i get the pieces together.

Originally posted by @Chris Paez :

Im currently in the middle of a garage conversion on my rental property and I have a great guy that made my plans and got the permit for a fair price. Im looking at the cost for this one in particular to hit under 20k since it was illegally converted in the past and had existing sewer and water already hooked up. Besides the obvious things like kitchenette and bathroom, the city of LA requires you seal the slab with a moisture barrier and that you insulate the crap out of it because of a California title 23 requirement. I'd be happy to keep you posted as I go through the process and give you my draftsman's info. I am sub contracting jobs for each part of the process and admittedly it my first rodeo and its going slow... but the front house is rented so I'm at least breaking even while i get the pieces together.

 Can I have that drafter's number? What is his turn-around time?

I am interested too.

Originally posted by @Chris Paez :

Im currently in the middle of a garage conversion on my rental property and I have a great guy that made my plans and got the permit for a fair price. Im looking at the cost for this one in particular to hit under 20k since it was illegally converted in the past and had existing sewer and water already hooked up. Besides the obvious things like kitchenette and bathroom, the city of LA requires you seal the slab with a moisture barrier and that you insulate the crap out of it because of a California title 23 requirement. I'd be happy to keep you posted as I go through the process and give you my draftsman's info. I am sub contracting jobs for each part of the process and admittedly it my first rodeo and its going slow... but the front house is rented so I'm at least breaking even while i get the pieces together.

 @chrispaez  Wonder how it went with the plumbing and water? every time we convert one inspector are asking us to demo the inside completely. if there's sewer lines we have to open them up to make sure they are dropping enough so it won't get clogged up. Seal with a slab is correct (some architects write in on the blueprints) they are looking for a 24' foundation to retrofit the bottom portion and also reframe the inside of the garage to withstand the 7.5 BIG QUAKE!!! . 

@ricardoparedes  the conversion takes about 4-6 months. 4-6 weeks for Design, Planning, Corrections and resubmit. The construction is a bit tricky you are going to have 12-14 inspections (that's 14 days of no work + Sundays) for preinspection, Foundation, Framing...... till you get your Certificate of occupancy. LAH will show up to inspect what the inspector approved and he will sign it off as a rental property and you'll get your certificate in the mail. DWP will come by and connect your Meter in about 1-2 months. by then the second unit will be rented and you'll be collecting $1200-$1600. 

@Wadner Cortez Yeah exactly. Im doing this thing on my days off and its quite a chore. About to go for another inspection in about ten minutes. Id love to be able to stay in touch cause I feel like everyday I find out something else that has to be done a different way. So far we are in week 3 of construction. the whole floor of the garage has been demoed out and Im trying to get my plumbing to pass today. We haven't been hit up about uncovering the sewer yet but I'm sure that is next. 

@ChrisPáez good luck on passing you never now what attitude the inspector will show up with. Yeah demo is first, foundation of 24' on the front where the garage door was at along with retrofitting the bottom corners of the garage and brackets connecting all wood.

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