With today’s high real estate prices, many are seeking ways to lower their house payment. One strategy that is growing in popularity is to rent an accessory apartment in your house.
What is an accessory apartment? It is a separate living are in your home with its own kitchen, bathroom(s), and bedrooms.
The big difference between an “accessory apartment” and a duplex is the owner of the property must live in the house. It cannot be rented to two different tenants. This is because of the zoning laws in Orem keeping single-family homes separate than multi-family properties. It doesn’t matter which part of the home you live in, you just need to be the owner.
An accessory apartment also differs than a “mother in-law” apartments, or “Grannies suite”, or “in-law suites”. In that case, the residents must be related and there are very few requirements.
Here are the rules and regulations Orem City has put in place to have a “legal” accessory apartment:
Review your plans and be sure each of the following details have been included before submitting for your permit. No work to be done until permit approved and issued and all appropriate fees paid. Note that State law is changing May 2021 and some of these items have been amended from earlier versions
SITE PLAN/PLOT PLAN
> Drawings of your lot, drawn to scale, with the following details:
> All buildings and their location on the lot with dimensions to property lines and to each other.
> All off-street parking. In order to comply with the accessory apartment requirements, additional parking may be required to be added. If so, the location of the proposed added areas needs to be shown.
> The location of the outside entrance to the apartment
BUILDING PLANS: Full set of plans drawn to scale with the following details:
> Gross floor area by floor: Scale for all drawings (Recommend: 1.0″=20.0″ for plot plan, 1/4″=1’0″ for foundation, floor and elevations, 1/2″ or 1″=1’0″ for details)
> Label walls showing materials to be used, and stud spacing
> Size, span, and support of all new beams & headers (Engineered for appropriate loads if necessary)
FLOOR PLANS INCLUDE:
> Architectural floor plans including adjoining rooms
> Layout of area of apartment – label all rooms including proposed use in unfinished areas
> Door sizes and their swings are shown
> Window sizes, type (vinyl, wood, metal) and sill height are shown. Identify opening panels (casement, horizontal sliders, etc)
> Wall-to-wall dimensions of all rooms, hallways, etc.
> Ceiling height
> Identify all new and existing construction
> The location of the exterior door
> The location of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors (Note: If the home does not currently have these to meet current code, they will need to be added. Show area of new detectors)
> Breaker panel location is indicated
> All lights, switches and receptacles are shown
> Label all GFCI outlets as such
> Tamper-resistant outlets shown
> Location of all plumbing fixtures, including future fixtures
> Water heater, floor drain, water softener, etc, locations
> Furnace(s) location
> If new furnace to be added, heat loss calculations will need to be provided including duct and vent sizing and layout.
> Location of all below-floor joist duct work and sizes (intrusion into ceiling height)
> Gas line drawing required if any new or additional gas-fire appliances, or any extension of the gas line.
> If baseboard heat will be installed, load calculations verifying that the electrical system is adequate for the additional load and heat loss calculations will be required.
OCCUPANCY SEPARATION DETAILS:
On the interior doors between the house and apartment, indicate 20-minute rating and self- closing as required.
City of Orem www.orem.org
Development Services Building Safety Division
56 North State Street Suite 105 801-229-7060
Orem, Utah 84057 Fax 802-229-7191
_ Apartments can only be built or added in single-family detached homes not located in R-5 Zone, nor in a Planned Residential Development At least three paved or asphalted off-street parking pads need to be provided. At least one of the required
spaces must begin behind the front setback lines and no more than one (1) parking stall shall be within the side
yard setback adjacent to a street.
Outside entrance must be properly located (Cannot be facing a street) Owner must live there
Owner needs to sign an affidavit that he/she will not rent both units Apartment can only be rented to one family or up to three singles
Floor plan must be provided following the guidelines from the Submittal Checklist Site plan must be provided as defined in the Submittal Checklist
Interior access must be maintained between house and apartment (access through the garage or a porch does not qualify)
CITY OF OREM IMPACT FEES AS SET BY CITY COUNCIL MUST BE PAID – as of May 2021, that amount is approximately $4,000.00 in the majority of the City with approximately $7,500.00 in the southwest quadrant of the City. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 1) If the house is not currently connected to City sewer (i.e. has a septic system), if the sewer main is within 300 feet of your house, you will be required to connect to City sewer. 2) Health Department regulations require a second garbage can be provided for the apartment.
BUILDING SAFETY REQUIREMENTS – NOTE: The apartment must be brought up to the current building code requirements and fees paid for building permits – $100.00 – $650.00 depending on what needs done. BUILDING PERMITS are required for all new, remodel and finish work. In order to receive approval for this apartment, you will be required to get a building permit for all of the construction that was done without approvals, whether finish work or
Doors in the common walls to be 20-minute fire-rated and self-closing Egress windows must be provided per code* (one for each bedroom) with a minimum opening of 5.7 square feet, when window sill is 44” or more below finish grade. Grade floor openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5 square feet. Opening to measure a minimum of 20” wide and 24” high. *Exception to this requirement: The bedroom was existing and complies to the building code in effect at the time the bedroom was finished.
Window wells for egress windows need to have all minimum dimensions of 36 inches or 24” minimum when installed to earlier code
Handrails must be built per code and provided as needed. A smoke detector must be provided in each bedroom and in a hallway or room leading to each bedroom, with a minimum of one on each floor.
A carbon monoxide detector must be provided on each level of home All gas-fueled appliances must be provided with the proper amount of air for efficient combustion
All clothes dryers must be vented to the exterior of the building. All outlets in bathrooms, outside, garage, in unfinished parts of basement and all outlets on the kitchen countertops need to be protected with a ground-fault-interrupter receptacle or breaker
Electrical outlets to be tamper-resistant type _
Minimum ceiling height must be 7’0”