Can You Add More Living Space With Senate Bill 9?

Can You Add More Living Space With Senate Bill 9?

By: Technick

California is experiencing a housing crisis. With the price of owning a single-family home rising, owning property within the state seems like an unreachable dream for many Americans, especially low-income families.  

The state has undoubtedly failed in building enough housing, but Governor Gavin Newsom hopes that signing Senate Bill 9 into law may supply more accommodation and meet the growing demands for affordable homeownership.

Controversial as it may seem to many, SB 9 may be just what the state needs to address homelessness, among other housing issues.

What Is Senate Bill 9?

Senate Bill 9 allows property owners to split a single-family residence into two lots. Property owners are also authorized to add a second home to their lot or split them into two and place duplexes on each, totaling four units on a single property.

This new law intends to reduce California’s fast-rising home prices and increasingly difficult access to homeownership. By introducing a greater variety of options through SB9 and making about 14,000 Berkeley properties eligible for building additional units, the state may be able to address the housing affordability crisis.

What Does This Change Mean for Me?

Many people have opinions about the newly-signed law, but this may bode well for those who own a single-family residence. Through a property split, you can provide rent-controlled housing and create passive income. However, not everyone with a single-family home is allowed to do this. Only landlords or homeowners can upzone their properties, but only if they plan to live there. 

What Should I Consider Before the Lot Split?

Although signing Senate Bill 9 aims to meet the current housing demands in California, not every individual who owns a single-family residence will be allowed to create more housing opportunities. Before reaching out to custom home builders, you must first determine whether you’re authorized to split your lot.

Property owners who want to split their single-home residence must meet the following criteria:

Lot Size

If you choose to split your property, each lot must at least be 1,200 square feet. The lot split must also be a close to equal split so that you may end up with a 60/40 division. Even though the new law stated a specific lot size, we recommend verifying with your city agency to ensure they didn’t set a lower minimum.

Prior Splits

If you already subdivided an adjacent parcel through an SB 9 lot divide, your property will no longer be considered for a lot split.

Lot Regulations

Not every real estate owner can get a custom home builder to split their property. As the SB 9 law states, only those with single-family residences are authorized to split their properties. Moreover, your property must also be located in an urban area surrounded by other suburbs.

Three-Year Occupancy

If you plan to split your residence into several lots, you must sign an affidavit stating that one of the housing units will be your primary residence for at least three years after adding more living space.


Senate bill 9 is certainly one of the most controversial housing laws signed as of late. Still, it may be just what California needs to increase urban density and make homeownership more affordable to low-income families. If you’re interested in splitting your property into lots and adding more living space through this law, reach out to our expert custom home builders to handle the job for you!

Are you thinking of building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or a multi-family unit on your property? Then, leave it to us at Technick to create additional living space! With our team of the best custom home builders in Irvine, you can count on us to complete the construction project with world-class service. Get a quote today!

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