Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) require a permit. There may be additional requirements depending on the location. A legal ADU must have one of its units occupied by the property owner, usually as a permanent and principal residence. If permitted as an ADU, if the owner moves out, s/he may not rent out both units to tenants.
In Seattle, if an owner is discovered to be renting out a unit in an illegal duplex, if the property cannot obtain the required permit, the city will force the landlord to evict the tenants and remove the second kitchen. Stiff fines can be levied for non-compliance. If a notice of code violation is received and the problem isn’t fixed in a timely manner, the city may impose fines between $150 to $500 a day with additional fines for violations in single-family zones.
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