Most cities and counties have specific laws about the creation and rental of mother-in-law apartments, with many locations preventing home owners from selling the apartment as a separate dwelling. A home that includes an in-law apartment is typically sold as one single property, and it must comply with all relevant building codes and zoning laws.
An in-law apartment is a type of addition to a standard home, which typically appears above a garage or as a segment of the basement. It has a separate entrance, bathroom and kitchen area. Most counties include clear laws and regulations about the creation of these homes, with some outlawing them completely, while others limit residency to only the direct relatives of the owners. This is typically to ensure that the space is safe to occupy and offers all the necessary features and components of a legal living space.
While some locations allow homeowners to rent out such units, most do not allow the owner's to sell them, because they exist on a single plot of land that includes the original residence. If the owner plans to sell the home entirely, it is important to check with the county to make sure that the property is in compliance with the necessary building codes, as selling a property with an illegal addition can result in fines or other complications.