Orem Utah Accessory Apartment 2012 Update
It is common to find accessory apartments in Orem houses. Many times, the improved area is called a “mother-in-law” apartment and then illegally rented. In 2004, Orem decided to prohibit the approval of new accessory apartments due to some parking complaints. However, this did not stop the construction or rental of basement apartments. All it did was create a whole new class of tax-paying lawbreakers.
After several public hearings, on June 10, 2012, the Orem City Council voted to once again allow the construction and approval of accessory apartments. Several regulatory steps are required to obtain legal approval for existing apartments or to build a new one. Here is a summary of the new rules to get approval from the City of Orem:
Orem Accessory Apartment Restrictions
- Maximum bedrooms: Two
- Maximum square feet: 1200
- Minimum square feet: 300
- Minimum ceiling height: Seven feet
- Parking requirement: Three paved pads
- Outside entrance: I can’t look at the street
- Water and Sewer Impact Rate: $ 1895.85
- Building permit: $ 60 – $ 500
- The owner must reside at the location
- The owner must sign an affidavit that both units will not be rented simultaneously; in other words, the owner must continue to live in the house and not turn it into an illegal duplex.
- Apartment rental restricted to one family or three individuals
Fire safety requirements
- One hour fire resistant construction between units, under stairs and in the oven room
- 20 minute fire resistance self-closing door (s) between units and oven room
- Handrails should be installed where needed
- Window size minima and window openings
- Smoke detectors in every bedroom and hallway.
- Carbon monoxide detector installed on every level of the house
Mechanical system requirements
- Own source of heat and air conditioning: Air conditioning and return air from the system of one unit cannot be mixed with the other.
- Adequate amount of combustible air for gas appliances
- Outside ventilation suitable for clothes dryer
- Kitchen and bathroom countertop outlets must have a receptacle or circuit breaker
- Electrical circuits serving bedrooms must be protected against arc faults.
A legal accessory apartment can be a godsend for both the owner and the tenants. Many residents find themselves unable to make their entire house payments for a variety of reasons. Renting an accessory apartment provides much-needed income from an area of the house that may not even have been used.
College students and young married couples have the opportunity to live in a single-family neighborhood, often in a much nicer environment than would have otherwise been possible.