With escalating home prices in the Los Angeles County region, including the Santa Clarita area, many homeowners are turning to illegal garage conversions to add extra living space.
While this may seem like a great idea, it's actually not a safe choice. Garages are not fire safety-rated for living quarters and include extra hazards like water heaters, furnaces, washers and dryers.
In the City of Santa Clarita, standard 2-car garages cannot be legally converted into living quarters. Space for the third car in a 3-car garage can be legally walled off in some cases, but generally not for living quarters. A common use for the third car bay would be for a home gym.
Homeowners with these illegal garage conversions can be cited for various reasons, including creating a public nuisance, violating parking laws (too many cars), or for creating a visual nuisance in the area. Once reported, the City Inspector will request that the situation be corrected. If there is no response to this by the 3rd citation, then the case gets passed to the City Attorney for prosecution.
Cases of overcrowding that don't include illegal garage conversions are handled by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health.