Frequently Asked Questions

Lot Split

If my home was a rental before I bought it, can I still split my lot?

Yes, you can still use SB 9 on a former or current rental property. However, you may not demolish more than 25% of a house until it has been owner occupied or vacant for three years.

ADU

How is SB 9 different than an ADU?

There are several key differences. The most significant is that SB 9 contains the lot split provision, which allows homeowners to subdivide their property into two parcels. Many cities allow SB 9 units to be larger than ADUs, and some allow SB 9 units on the same lot to be sold separately, which is never allowed for ADUs.

There's an ADU on my property. Can I still split my lot with SB 9?

Yes, you can split your lot if you have an ADU. However, the ADU will need to stay on the same lot as the existing house.

Feasibility

Does my lot qualify for SB 9?

Search your address on our SB 9 Eligibility Search Tool to find out if your property is eligible.
If you live in the City of Los Angeles, you can search your address on ZIMAS to download an SB 9 Eligibility Checklist.

What's the process for Homestead's lot split services?

First we assess the feasibility of a lot split on your property with the numerous factors at-play, including, but lot limited to: Site conditions, jurisdictional roadblocks, and seeking approval with your lender (which must issue an approval). If everything checks out, we then coordinate all third-party specialists (e.g. civil engineer, surveyor, etc), fill out the required documentation, and submit the application on your behalf. We charge a baseline fee for our services, and all fees incurred during the subdivision process are passed along to you with no markup.

What is SB 9?

Senate Bill 9 (also known as the California HOME Act) is a state law that applies to single-family zoned properties in urban areas. Qualifying parcels are eligible for a lot split and up to two primary homes on each lot. Cities cannot require discretionary reviews or public hearings for these actions. SB 9 projects must be evaluated ministerially, which means only objective, quantifiable standards can be imposed.

SB 9 exempts projects from CEQA requirements and doubles the expiration date of tentative parcel maps (now valid for 24 months). Public hearing requirements are not required for SB 9 projects in Coastal Zones, but all other CCA regulations still apply.

To learn more about Senate Bill 9, read Homestead's SB 9 Manual.

Can I demolish my house and split my lot?

It depends on the home's rental history and your jurisdiction.
If the home has been owner occupied or vacant for the last three years, the house can be demolished in most jurisdictions. However, if it has been rented or leased to tenants at any point in the last three years, you may not demolish the house or change more than 25% of the exterior walls.
Some jurisdictions do not allow demolition of 25% or more for any units, regardless of current or former occupancy.

Can I rent out the new unit?

You may rent out SB 9 units for a minimum of 30 consecutive days, but be aware that some cities have income caps for SB 9 rentals. Refer to your city's SB 9 City Guide or local SB 9 ordinance to see if there are affordability requirements in your jurisdiction.
If you perform an SB 9 urban lot split, you will need to live on one of the two lots for a minimum of three years following the lot split.

Timeline

What's the process for Homestead's lot split services?

First we assess the feasibility of a lot split on your property with the numerous factors at-play, including, but lot limited to: Site conditions, jurisdictional roadblocks, and seeking approval with your lender (which must issue an approval). If everything checks out, we then coordinate all third-party specialists (e.g. civil engineer, surveyor, etc), fill out the required documentation, and submit the application on your behalf. We charge a baseline fee for our services, and all fees incurred during the subdivision process are passed along to you with no markup.

Do I have to wait three years before I sell the new lot?

You can sell one of the two lots right away. If you want to sell the other lot too, you'll need to live on it for three years first.

Implementation

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Finance

Do I need permission from my lender to split my lot?

If there is an outstanding mortgage on your property, you will need to get written permission from your lender in the form of a partial release of mortgage.
If your lender won't agree to a partial release, you can refinance your mortgage with a different lender. Keep in mind that your lease terms and interest rates may change as a result of the refinance.

Why are some cities more expensive than others?

Some cities have a more complex application and permitting process, which requires more work on our end. Our fees are relative to the difficulty of the process and our level of prior experience with the's city planning department.

How much does it cost to split my lot?

Like most SB 9 questions, it depends on your city. We charge a base fee for our labor, then pass applicable permitting, third-party specialist, and impact fees on to you with no mark-up.

How will a lot split impact my home value and property taxes?

Your property will be smaller following the split, which causes a slight drop in home value (usually around 10% for a 60/40 split).
The lot split won't affect property taxes, although you can request to have your property reevaluated following the split to see if you'll owe less.
SB 9 does not seem to affect a property's Prop 13 status, but it will reset when a lot is sold.

Permitting

What's the process for Homestead's lot split services?

First we assess the feasibility of a lot split on your property with the numerous factors at-play, including, but lot limited to: Site conditions, jurisdictional roadblocks, and seeking approval with your lender (which must issue an approval). If everything checks out, we then coordinate all third-party specialists (e.g. civil engineer, surveyor, etc), fill out the required documentation, and submit the application on your behalf. We charge a baseline fee for our services, and all fees incurred during the subdivision process are passed along to you with no markup.

Occupancy

Can I Airbnb my new unit?

No, SB 9 requires that all rental terms must be for a minimum of 30 days.

Can I demolish my house and split my lot?

It depends on the home's rental history and your jurisdiction.
If the home has been owner occupied or vacant for the last three years, the house can be demolished in most jurisdictions. However, if it has been rented or leased to tenants at any point in the last three years, you may not demolish the house or change more than 25% of the exterior walls.
Some jurisdictions do not allow demolition of 25% or more for any units, regardless of current or former occupancy.

Can I rent out the new unit?

You may rent out SB 9 units for a minimum of 30 consecutive days, but be aware that some cities have income caps for SB 9 rentals. Refer to your city's SB 9 City Guide or local SB 9 ordinance to see if there are affordability requirements in your jurisdiction.
If you perform an SB 9 urban lot split, you will need to live on one of the two lots for a minimum of three years following the lot split.

If my home was a rental before I bought it, can I still split my lot?

Yes, you can still use SB 9 on a former or current rental property. However, you may not demolish more than 25% of a house until it has been owner occupied or vacant for three years.

Construction

Can't I split my lot myself?

Of course, but it's a lot harder than you might think! It involves hiring a number of specialists, preparing and submitting more than a dozen different documents, and lots of back-and-forth with your local planning department. Hiring Homestead to process your lot split application saves you lots of time and frustration.

Will there need to be driveway/easement to the second lot?

When performing a lot split, each resulting lot must have street access via direct frontage or a recorded easement. Some cities have specific requirements for street frontage and easements; refer to your local SB 9 ordinance.