Featured News 2014 Garage Conversions and Illegal Use of Garages

Garage Conversions and Illegal Use of Garages

Garages are an unfinished area that is used to store cars and excess property. Those who turn their garage into another room, or use their garage as an office or studio without permits and licensure to do so, can be penalized for their actions. Some states have laws concerning illegal garage conversions. For example, in Southern California, those who convert their garage into another bedroom or into an office can be heavily cited for doing so if they don't apply for the property permits.

Many homeowners are unaware that permits are required for this conversion. They assume that if they own the property, they have the right to do what they want with it. Typically, a garage conversion does not involve adding on square footage to the house, or a drastic renovation so many believe that they don't need to ask permission for the right to convert their home as they want.

In some cases, the state department many require the homeowner to restore his or her garage to the original condition. This can cost thousands of dollars, and is why it is common for individuals to desire to get their addition or garage conversion legalized. If you do not have a permit on your garage conversion, but rely on the conversion because you rent it out or because a relative is living in the space, you will want to try and get it legalized. If you are unable to do so, you may lose income by forfeiting rent and may have to pay the move-out fees of the tenant living in the garage conversion. You may also need to pay fines and penalty fees to your respective city and then pay expenses to legalize, restore or demolish the offending unit.

To petition to keep an unpermitted unit, individuals must exercise due diligence and may want to hire a real estate attorney to help argue on their side. You will still need to meet all zoning, parking, setback, height, and lot size requirements regarding the garage. The property might also be subject conditions that limit the amount of change that can be made to the garage legally.

If legally permitted, individuals can convert their garage into a variety of different rooms. Many individuals have converted their garage into art studios, home-based businesses, music studios, guest rooms, game rooms, gyms, media rooms, playrooms, study rooms or workshop spaces.

If you have an unpermitted garage conversion, then you will want to verify all legal options that you have to legalize the space in your home. An attorney can help you to gather information on building codes, zoning planning, and the legal profile of the building. The right attorney can also help you to do a thorough analysis of the characteristics, potentials, and limitations of your property.

After this, you will want to draw up a design and plan and may want to interview with some architects. You can then show the state what kind of conversion you are intending to do (or have done) specifically with your garage. You will want to go to the appropriate department with a lawyer and show the authorities your initials sketches regarding the conversion. If the plans are approved by the city, you will want to get an estimate.

After deciding if you want to proceed, you will want to follow all legal steps and procedures from your City and County to get the conversion and guest house plans approved. If you want more information about garage conversions, don't hesitate to contact a local real estate attorney today for help. A skilled lawyer from this directory may be able to help you work through the issues surrounding your difficult case.

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