Illegal Garage Conversions

Did you know it is illegal to convert your garage into a living area?
The City of Azusa is committed to the safety and well being of all residents and their neighborhoods. Recent experience shows that living in garages may result in loss of life and Azusa takes this code violation seriously.

An illegal garage conversion occurs when a property owner or tenants alters or modifies their garage for living purposes without obtaining the proper approvals or permits from the City. Altering or converting a garage into a living area is a violation of the California Health and Safety Code Sec.17920.3 (n) and the California Building Code Sec. 105.1.

When a garage is illegally converted into living quarters, serious health and safety issues can be created. Improperly installed electrical wiring may cause fires, improper venting of water heaters may cause asphyxiation resulting in possible death, and plumbing installed not according to the Building Code may lead to other health hazards. Other health and safety issues associated with illegal garage conversions may include not having the proper number of emergency exits or windows, not having fire resistant construction materials, and insufficient fire prevention systems or smoke alarms.

In addition to safety concerns, illegal garage conversions can also affect the quality of life in your neighborhood. Improper and illegal occupancy of a converted garage increases the demand for City services such as refuse collection, increases the number of vehicles taking up parking spaces, and impacts the density of our neighborhoods, potentially leading to a decrease in the quality of life for all residents.

A garage is meant to store your vehicles and personal items, and not to serve as a living quarters. Please be aware that legal action may be taken against any property owner and/or tenant who builds walls within, lives in or rents out a garage for living space.

If you have any questions regarding this issue, please call the Community Improvement Division at (626) 812-5235 or (626) 812-5265.

With your cooperation, we will continue to keep the City of Azusa a healthy, safe, and clean place to live.