WHAT ARE ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are attached or detached housing units, also known as second dwelling units, guest houses or backyard cottages. 

There are many different types of ADUs:

 
 

If you would like to learn more about ADUs, the website accessorydwellings.org is a valuable resource.

 

WHAT AMENITIES DOES A DWELLER ADU HAVE?

A Dweller ADU is a self-contained living space with the look and feel of a house brought down to small scale. Each Dweller ADU is approximately 450 sq ft. and has a living space, a kitchen with full size appliances, a bathroom and a bedroom. High quality materials with full sized windows and doors are used during the construction of each unit. For the exterior, landscaping to provide privacy between the primary unit and the Dweller ADU is employed.

 

WHAT IS THE INVESTMENT COST FOR PROPERTY OWNERS?

Typically, homeowners are forced to use cash or rely on equity from their current property in order to build an ADU. On top of that, they must also hire a contractor, someone to manage and maintain their ADU and find the best renters. Dweller solves those problems with a no cost, no hassle approach. Dweller handles everything while sharing part of the monthly rent with the homeowner.

 

NO HASSLE? WHAT DOES DWELLER TAKE CARE OF?

Dweller is responsible for construction and placement of the ADU on-site, at no cost to the property owner. This includes costs for permitting, utility connections and landscaping. Dweller also manages and maintains the ADU and collects rent from tenants. 

 

DOES DWELLER OWN THE LAND?

The property owner continues to own the land and Dweller simply pays rent each month under a standard lease agreement. By leasing surplus land to Dweller, property owners gain additional monthly income and increase the overall value of their property.

 

WHO OWNS THE ADU?

Dweller owns the ADU, however, the property owner can purchase the ADU at any time based on a declining buyout payment established in the lease agreement. At the end of the 25 year lease term, the property owner will own the unit outright.

 

WHO SELECTS THE TENANTS IN A DWELLER ADU?

The property owner has the choice of identifying qualified tenants for the ADU or leaving that to Dweller. In all cases, prospective tenants will be qualified by a professional property manager and will pay market rent for the unit. If a property owner allows Dweller to select qualified tenants for the ADU, Dweller guarantees a minimum monthly payment to the property owner.

 

HOW ARE RENTERS CHOSEN?

If Dweller is responsible for renting the ADU, we use an experienced property management firm to identify and select a qualified tenant. Most available ADUs will be publicly marketed and tenants will be selected to create the best fit between homeowner and tenant. Dweller property managers will also be available for renters and property owners to address any issues that may arise. Dweller works hard to address concerns of clients and to ensure we foster mutually beneficial ongoing relationships. 

 

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PROPERTY IS SUITED FOR AN ADU?

Many different types of properties will accommodate an ADU. In most cases, backyards that are flat and have at least 750 square feet of unutilized space are well-suited for an ADU. If you aren’t sure, contact us and we’ll let you know.

 

ARE ADUs ALLOWED IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD?

Zoning and regulations vary by municipality but most city zoning codes allow for ADUs. In addition, most municipalities view ADUs as critical to providing affordable housing in rapidly growing neighborhoods and have modified local codes to allow for ADUs.

 

HOW AFFORDABLE IS AN ADU TO RENT?

The monthly rents for an ADU typically reflect neighborhood market rents. In Portland, rents for a single family ADU are roughly $1,200 to $1,500 per month.

 

I'M SELLING MY HOUSE, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE ADU?

The property owner can sell their property at any time with written notification provided to Dweller. The presence of an ADU can often increase the value and attractiveness of a house on the market.