accessory apartment
10 years ago No Comments

(pronounced ek-SEH-seh-ree eh-PART-mehnt)

Apparently this term has been around for a while, but we only just became aware of it recently, so we thought that we would share it with you. You may have heard the terms “in-law apartment,” “guest apartment,” or “granny flat.” Well, accessory apartment is a synonym for those. It’s an additional (a.k.a. accessory) residential unit that may be

1) within the interior of an existing single-family home,
2) on top of an attached or detached garage / structure, or
3) be it’s own separate entity, (like a carriage house), but on the same property.

These units are commonly required to be independently functional — i.e., separate access, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. Many municipalities have very strict rules regulating where accessory apartments are permitted, how they are to be situated, and how large they can be. Sometimes cities do not allow them for fear of overcrowding and a drop in property value. This type of supplementary housing can provide an agreeable alternative to larger complexes because the units are usually smaller and lower priced than full-size rentals.

See also: ADU