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Old 06-26-2017, 11:04 PM
 
35 posts, read 11,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whtviper1 View Post
Well - I'd permit it. My opinion.

You might not get more in rent (or you might) but a decent chance you'd rent it faster with a stove (or not - but probably)
I appreciuate that. I am headed in that direction. I just wish I felt better about this not being a fools mission because I can not seem to find anyone else or know of anyone else through anyone who bothered to do it just so they could rent it with a normal stove or add value to their listing.

Showing a property has a history of producing income while you live it it definetly adds value. I just don't know how much or if there is a formula for it. I am going to call the person who did the appraisal and ask them that if this place had the ADU permit or at least a rental history using a fancy toaster oven/hot plate combo, how much more would it had appraised for.

I am still very interested to any experience with or on this topic from any Leasee, leasor, realtor or appraiser on Kauai.

Mahalo!!!
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:39 AM
 
920 posts, read 1,446,355 times
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I am not familiar with the precise ADU rules, so take all I have to say with some skepticism.

That said, there is something that is not consistent here. I don't understand how the main house can be built without the lower unit permitted as Ohana or ADU. Why would the builder do that? There are many cases of houses being built with unpermitted units, where the property is listed with X bedrooms and there are X-1 upstairs and 1 downstairs with its own bathroom, "bar," "rec room," and separate entrance. If that was your situation it would certainly explain why the realtors shut up when you asked pertinent questions.

If the rooms are all built as part of the main house, I think they all have to be connected as one living space, meaning there should be an interior staircase between the 2 floors. And I'm afraid that if you did want to permit that situation, it would be an after-the-fact permit, meaning more hassles and also proving its in compliance.

Again, I'm not sure how Ohana units and ADUs are handled here. I know an Ohana is meant to have the kitchen shared between the units (families eat together), if you want to keep it under that definition, no kitchen, as defined by the stove, would be allowed. But if your property is allowed an ADU, perhaps they built it as such and just didn't finish the permitting. In that case, your upstairs has the correct number of rooms, but you need to figure out why and where the downstairs permit wasn't finished.

Here's another way to check: an ADU can and should have seperate utility meters, or at least electric--because it's like 2 legally separate houses. So if it's set up that way, you could finish the ADU permitting process and have a full kitchen with stove in there (might as well build it out, even if I agree with the other comments about small apartments don't really need it and most people don't use it).

Of course, if you go through and get the ADU for the downstairs, you cannot go build a second and separate house on your property as the ADU. Is it possible to have an Ohana unit (no kitchen/stove) and an ADU on this property? I don't know enough about the laws to answer that.

As an aside, it is rather misleading how the r-e industry sells all the various unpermitted structures and other grey-market housing, as if the buyer would get a clean permitted structure just by buying it. I'm exaggerating, they don't literally do that, but the lack of disclosure and hush-hush about it has that impression, and he buyer who doesn't ask questions may end up holding the bag. Or how so many properties were advertised as potential vacation rentals, just check with the county, before the county stopped grandfathering existing rentals.
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:37 AM
 
35 posts, read 11,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KauaiHiker View Post
I am not familiar with the precise ADU rules, so take all I have to say with some skepticism.

That said, there is something that is not consistent here. I don't understand how the main house can be built without the lower unit permitted as Ohana or ADU. Why would the builder do that? There are many cases of houses being built with unpermitted units, where the property is listed with X bedrooms and there are X-1 upstairs and 1 downstairs with its own bathroom, "bar," "rec room," and separate entrance. If that was your situation it would certainly explain why the realtors shut up when you asked pertinent questions.

If the rooms are all built as part of the main house, I think they all have to be connected as one living space, meaning there should be an interior staircase between the 2 floors. And I'm afraid that if you did want to permit that situation, it would be an after-the-fact permit, meaning more hassles and also proving its in compliance.

Again, I'm not sure how Ohana units and ADUs are handled here. I know an Ohana is meant to have the kitchen shared between the units (families eat together), if you want to keep it under that definition, no kitchen, as defined by the stove, would be allowed. But if your property is allowed an ADU, perhaps they built it as such and just didn't finish the permitting. In that case, your upstairs has the correct number of rooms, but you need to figure out why and where the downstairs permit wasn't finished.

Here's another way to check: an ADU can and should have seperate utility meters, or at least electric--because it's like 2 legally separate houses. So if it's set up that way, you could finish the ADU permitting process and have a full kitchen with stove in there (might as well build it out, even if I agree with the other comments about small apartments don't really need it and most people don't use it).

Of course, if you go through and get the ADU for the downstairs, you cannot go build a second and separate house on your property as the ADU. Is it possible to have an Ohana unit (no kitchen/stove) and an ADU on this property? I don't know enough about the laws to answer that.

As an aside, it is rather misleading how the r-e industry sells all the various unpermitted structures and other grey-market housing, as if the buyer would get a clean permitted structure just by buying it. I'm exaggerating, they don't literally do that, but the lack of disclosure and hush-hush about it has that impression, and he buyer who doesn't ask questions may end up holding the bag. Or how so many properties were advertised as potential vacation rentals, just check with the county, before the county stopped grandfathering existing rentals.
That was insightful. Thank you. The downstairs is as you descirbed. Where the full kitchen is, they called it a "nook" in the blue prints. It does have the interior stairs with a double lock out door to the apartment. It looks as if it was intended to be used as a rental and the original owner did have appliances in there. I heard he rented it out to one guy long term. The second owners who we purchased it from had a lot of kids and used every square inch for themselves so there was nothing we could learn about any attempts they made since they had no interest in renting the first floor unit out. I was on the phone with someone from the department of planing before coming here and it would've been nice if he asked some basic questions and let me know some basic requirements, like if separating meters would be required, before telling me to bring blue prints, photos etc down to start the clearance walk of pain.

There is no separate utilities meters. We wouldn't want to put any in either if that would be required. We also wouldn't want to jeopardize being able to build a cottage someday. We thought we could relinquish the one before applying for the other. Sounds like that may not be the case and if not, this was a huge heads up I am glad we were given it by you.

Now I have new and good questions to go find answers for. lol

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Kailua
8,375 posts, read 10,290,272 times
Reputation: 3790
One thing with an illegal rental - if you ever have a dispute with the tenant and it goes to court you'll definitely lose any claim to rent......
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:17 PM
 
35 posts, read 11,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whtviper1 View Post
One thing with an illegal rental - if you ever have a dispute with the tenant and it goes to court you'll definitely lose any claim to rent......
I have never asked about offering an illegal rental or not. I never would because of the liability and risk of fines and law suits etc. I don't roll those kind of dice.

My questions were related to, is a stove worth the hassle and expense of making the stove legal, or do I equip the legal rental with other and perhaps less desirable cooking appliances like large toaster ovens, hot plates, electric skillets, microwave etc. We already sold the white appliances it came with and have held off on ordering the new stove until we get answers which have been very difficult to come by. Even web-sites that are suppose to have answers have error pages when you click on the links to where the answers are suppose to be. I don;t understand why the government makes all of this so vague and forces you to start a process so blind to what are basic requirements for a basic permit, especially when they want to encourage it to help with housing.

This is about the worth of a traditional stove to a renter and if it effects the rental price and the worth of an ADU permit to real property, especially if it is not required to produc long term rental income in lieu of the traditional stove. Anyone can rent any or all of their home for 180 or more and with a business license for paying tax on the rental income.

If getting an ADU permit so I can have a traditional stove means having to also pay to separate the metered utilities and forgo ever being able to build an unattached ADU on the property then, I am not proceeding. I just need to get those issues confirmed.
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
8,856 posts, read 16,499,760 times
Reputation: 7247
As far as the Planning Dept & Building Dept are concerned, any heating/cooking device is the same as a stove. A "dwelling unit" consists of a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. A "kitchen" consists of a sink, refrigerator and cooking unit. So by adding in a microwave, you've now got a 'dwelling unit'. As to if it's a legal dwelling unit, that all depends on if it was built as multiple dwelling structure or not. Most likely not, from what you mentioned about the second kitchen being labeled as a 'nook'.

Basically, more than likely with the change from 'nook' to 'kitchen', you've got an illegal 'dwelling' there whether it's rented or not. They get fussy about adding in more kitchens, much more so than additional bedrooms. Unless you're considering septic size, then they're more concerned with bedrooms than kitchens and baths, weird though that seems. Navigating the building codes and people who interpret them is never the same twice it seems, possibly because there's so many rules and so many people involved.

The 'nook', 'wet bar', 'game room', etc. that has been written on plans and then turned into a separate dwelling unit has been going on for years and decades. However, they are now getting a little tighter on allowing that sort of thing to pass at the blueprint stage. It still generally requires a complaint before they do anything about it in the real world, though. At least, so far anyway.

I haven't done a set of blueprints for Kauai for decades now, so I don't have up to date information and can't give you accurate advice. Building requirements change all the time and they're different for each island. The best thing to do is to take a copy of your blueprints (if you have one) down to the Planning or Building Department and ask them these questions since then you'll be able to get precise answers that are valid. Also, be aware that what is allowed now may not always be allowed in the future.
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:17 PM
 
1,317 posts, read 1,211,274 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotzcatz View Post
As far as the Planning Dept & Building Dept are concerned, any heating/cooking device is the same as a stove. A "dwelling unit" consists of a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. A "kitchen" consists of a sink, refrigerator and cooking unit.
That is incorrect. You are saying that bringing home a hot plate and putting it on top a counter top in a wet bar (i.e. room with a fridge + sink) makes it illegal? But if I move the hot plate just a few feet and place it just outside the door then the wet bar is legal again? Clearly that makes no sense.

Any portable "small" appliance with a 2 or 3-prong UL-approved 120V plug like a rice cooker, toaster oven, microwave, hot plate, George Foreman grill, etc are 100% legal in ANY room of the house... living room, bedroom, bathroom wherever. The inclusion of any small appliance does not change the legal use of any room... and that includes a room with a wet bar.

What changes the legal use is when you include a MAJOR appliance. That would include wall ovens, all ranges, built-in cook tops that need to be hard-wired, etc. So the OP is correct in that including small, portable cooking appliances vs major cooking appliances would eliminate the need to procure permits.
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Old 06-27-2017, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Lihue, HI
28 posts, read 16,464 times
Reputation: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by pj737 View Post
That is incorrect. You are saying that bringing home a hot plate and putting it on top a counter top in a wet bar (i.e. room with a fridge + sink) makes it illegal? But if I move the hot plate just a few feet and place it just outside the door then the wet bar is legal again? Clearly that makes no sense.

Any portable "small" appliance with a 2 or 3-prong UL-approved 120V plug like a rice cooker, toaster oven, microwave, hot plate, George Foreman grill, etc are 100% legal in ANY room of the house... living room, bedroom, bathroom wherever. The inclusion of any small appliance does not change the legal use of any room... and that includes a room with a wet bar.

What changes the legal use is when you include a MAJOR appliance. That would include wall ovens, all ranges, built-in cook tops that need to be hard-wired, etc. So the OP is correct in that including small, portable cooking appliances vs major cooking appliances would eliminate the need to procure permits.
For what it's worth, Kauai County did go after someone I know for having a rice cooker in the "wet bar" room of one of his rentals, but with the involvement of an attorney they backed down.
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:02 PM
 
35 posts, read 11,538 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotzcatz View Post
As far as the Planning Dept & Building Dept are concerned, any heating/cooking device is the same as a stove. A "dwelling unit" consists of a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. A "kitchen" consists of a sink, refrigerator and cooking unit. So by adding in a microwave, you've now got a 'dwelling unit'. As to if it's a legal dwelling unit, that all depends on if it was built as multiple dwelling structure or not. Most likely not, from what you mentioned about the second kitchen being labeled as a 'nook'.

Basically, more than likely with the change from 'nook' to 'kitchen', you've got an illegal 'dwelling' there whether it's rented or not. They get fussy about adding in more kitchens, much more so than additional bedrooms. Unless you're considering septic size, then they're more concerned with bedrooms than kitchens and baths, weird though that seems. Navigating the building codes and people who interpret them is never the same twice it seems, possibly because there's so many rules and so many people involved.

The 'nook', 'wet bar', 'game room', etc. that has been written on plans and then turned into a separate dwelling unit has been going on for years and decades. However, they are now getting a little tighter on allowing that sort of thing to pass at the blueprint stage. It still generally requires a complaint before they do anything about it in the real world, though. At least, so far anyway.


I haven't done a set of blueprints for Kauai for decades now, so I don't have up to date information and can't give you accurate advice. Building requirements change all the time and they're different for each island. The best thing to do is to take a copy of your blueprints (if you have one) down to the Planning or Building Department and ask them these questions since then you'll be able to get precise answers that are valid. Also, be aware that what is allowed now may not always be allowed in the future.
The department happily said that it could be rented without issue without the stove. I pressed hard to make sure I didn;t need any special permit. They just said to get the business license and pay the income tax. If we want the stove, they said we had to do the clearance walk and all questions about ADU permit requirements would get answered during that.

The bank was good with the fridge and sink "its a wet bar" . They just wanted the stove gone to approve financing. It was sold to someone, we later learned who is building an un permitted off grid home on the north shore. lol Oh the irony.

We have septic permitted for an additional 2 bed/ 2 bath to be added in the future and plan to use that for a guest cottage. We are now thinking of just scratching plan A for the short term and just getting started with that project.

On kauai , as of January, they are encouraging more developers and builders to add attached rental apartments to help with housing for permanent residents. They having been tightening up on vacation rentals out of the VDAs.

You make a good point about how they change things as time goes by too. Its a no wonder no one knows where Waldo is anymore.

For sure, minimum wage workers are besides themselves not being able to afford rent here. The island does have a growing homeless problem and they don;t want to end up with the problem Oahu has. I think during the time when people off island were buying up residential properties and using them as income producing vacation rentals offered on airnb, VRBO, and craigs list, locals quickly became priced out of being able to buy or rent. They are getting that under control now.

Mahalo
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:33 PM
 
35 posts, read 11,538 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dimfeld View Post
For what it's worth, Kauai County did go after someone I know for having a rice cooker in the "wet bar" room of one of his rentals, but with the involvement of an attorney they backed down.
I spoke with the Department about what is legal and what isn't and that is not what this post is about. I already know what is legal and what isn't as of July 2017. Rice cookers are not illegal which would explain why they backed down if someone who knows the law stepped in. That story probably had to do with a leasor trying to chase away a bad tenant and got a friend who workd for county to try to shake him off.

My questions had to do with the value of things like tradition stoves to rentals, and ADU permits to property values, not what makes for a legal rental or not. I have my own attorney and the rental agreements he will be drawing up for that.

Please keep on topic if you want to contribute.

Mahalo.
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