Any experience with Assessors for in-law unit?

Hi team,

I am working on adding in-law unit (Accessory Dwelling Unit) in one of my rentals. Project started in November and hopefully finishing end of the month. It is expected that it needs assessment. But I just get letter from Assessors office that they wanted to know where the project is as of January 1st.

They asked total cost of project and amount expended to date. I am wondering if there is any experience from you about how much you guys put in there related to actual spending on the project. It is in San Mateo County.

Hey @myo,

I take it you did not use a architect to draw up the plans of the inlaw? If you did, I would assume your architect would have a good idea of the real cost and how much you can get away with on the reporting. Lower the better of course, but not so low that it would draw attention. No different from when you are buying a used car and need to report the sales price for sales tax purposes at the DMV.

The county has their own formula. Find out from experts what their number is. But quote low. say you did all the labor yourself.

I did a remodel with permit in alameda county. They sent me a letter requesting info for assessment a couple months ago. I was worrying about that as well.

Now I can’t find that request letter any more. What should I do? If I don’t respond, what will they do to my assessment? It was only finaled in January.

Isn’t it a possibility that the County will just assess it for you, which could be high? It is like when I recently had to get permits at the City of Oakland. I of course said value of work was low for X. The clerk handling the paperwork didn’t give a hoot…she was looking forward to leaving for the day…

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The value for the permit is with the city building department. But the request letter is from the county, most likely from the county assessment office. I don’t think the city and county government can communicate effectively.

Now I need to find that piece of paperwork and better give them the info so that they don’t assess a sky high number.

Yeah, I know different depts but just wanting to illustrate why one MAY want to take matters into his/her own hands… no guarantees of course

I did have the architect to draw up and needed to go through city planning approval. Yea, I was wondering if I quote low, what would be the consequences.

Good point on reducing $$ amount on labor.

Again, use a number that is plausible but not so low that alarms go off…

@myo - are you renting out the ADU already?

Yes, I am.

Is it a small project ADU? Did you need to do any foundation work or digging to meet the ceiling height requirements?

I have a basement with only 6.5ft clearance. Been wondering about an ADU but zero action yet.

I added 2 bed / 1 bath, and kitchen - about 600 sqft. I did have to do some foundation re-enforcement in the middle, but didn’t have to deal with ceiling height, although, I did raise the ceiling a bit by installing smaller duct work (I have to install a new furnace anyway) that opens up the ceiling nicely. You should talk with an architect who know the city code so you can weight the options.