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Can I rent 4 Guest houses located in my property in Topanga , CA? I was told it is not legal.

I am looking to buy a property in Topanga Canyon, CA. There is a main house and 4 Guest houses with kitchens and bathrooms. One structure is a converted 4 car garage. Is it legal. How do I go about doing this? If I could, I think it would be a good investment.  
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August 20 2010 - Topanga
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Answers (5)

Profile picture for wetdawgs
Talk to the city planning department.  Many neighborhoods are residential for single family homes, and therefore it would be illegal to have guest cottages being used for rentals (short or long term).    If you've been told it is illegal already, what is the source of the person's information?

In addition, the points about being built to permit are critical for structures you would wish to insure as a business (or home owner).

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August 21 2010
Profile picture for P Banks
The best place to ask is the city's planning dept. They can tell you what it's zoned for & what they allow in that city. AT the same time make sure it was all permitted.
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August 21 2010
Its typical for Topanga to have structures NOT officially permitted, but rare to have a property with 4 guest units. I would check permits, ask your Realtor to pull them for you. You can also check here for any building permit issues. Yes you can rent anything, what you want to be concerned with if the structures are TO CODE..if they are not and they burn down with the tenants in them you will be liable. Thats why structures are insurable only to what the county public records show. No permit, cant insure, youre liable. In fire-prone Topanga you want to play it safe...
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August 20 2010
Unless your area has a specific law or ordinance against it, you can rent a broom closet.  When I lived in Hawaii, cheap rentals were in high demand and I saw several people advertising small walk-in closets as rental units with an extension cord to power an alarm clock or TV!

Research your local laws by contacting an attorney.  There may be limitations on how many units you can rent as a private owner/investor.
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August 20 2010
Ask to the seller that you want to see the city permit and the blue print of the guess houses, there is no law to prevent you from rent out your home, guest houses, room share, as long as the tenants do not noisy (big noise).
My sister has the SFR for rent and it is 'apartment like' now, the house has 4 rooms, each room is rented out to one or two renters, (it has only one kitchen and 2 bath rooms however).
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August 20 2010
 
Related Questions
Can I rent 4 Guest houses located in my property in Topanga , CA? I was told it is not legal.
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Latest answer by wetdawgs
August 21 2010 | 5 answers
  • Asked by aglewin001
  • In Landlords
  • August 20 2010
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