2021 Bills

HB 82: Simplifying Accessory Apartments

To track the status of this bill, find it on our Legislation Tracker. Click here to contact the sponsor of the bill to share your thoughts, or click here to email your Senator and Representative about it.

Libertas Institute supports this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it aligns with our principles and should therefore be passed into law.

When it comes to the housing market in Utah, there are two related problems: there aren’t enough options and the options that are available are quickly becoming more expensive. The deregulation of accessory dwelling units provides a creative solution that addresses these issues.

An accessory dwelling unit is a secondary living space created within a primary owner-occupied, single-family house. For example, if you live in a home with a large basement, you could add a kitchen to the space and rent it out to a separate family or individual. This provides an additional housing option for those looking and makes your mortgage more affordable.

The only problem is that accessory dwelling units are often heavily regulated by state and local governments.

H.B. 82, sponsored by Representative Raymond Ward, addresses this issue and helps alleviate the problems caused by the housing crisis.

The bill prohibits local and state governments from establishing accessory dwelling unit restrictions regarding things like the size of the unit, the size of the lot, parking, and street frontage. So long as accessory dwelling units comply with the applicable building codes and fire codes, they should be allowed.

The bill also allows important exceptions to be made when it comes to your accessory dwelling unit. Currently, accessory dwelling units are, like duplexes, required to have things like separate air systems and separate access to power disconnects. Under this legislation, an exception would be made for accessory dwelling units.

Should this bill pass, converting a portion of your home into an accessory apartment will become a real option for many Utahns. This will properly alleviate stress on the housing market and on the property owner.