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Accessory Dwelling Units

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The City of Evanston has recently approved the rental of existing coach houses to non-family members to increase the available housing stock. Interested owners will need to register and have their unit inspected by the city before legally being allowed to rent. However if existing renters reside in the coach house, there will be an amnesty period, lasting until May 31, 2019, for owners to come forward and register the unit without repercussions. As long as the unit has no major life safety violations, existing renters will be able to stay where they are. We are excited about his new opportunity for alternate housing options in Evanston, and more information on the registration process, as well as FAQs can be found below.

To fill out the registration form, please visit the Rental Registration page. If you have any questions not covered below, please email

Coach House/Accessory Dwelling Unit FAQs

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)? 

An ADU is a smaller dwelling unit that is located on the same lot as a single family home. ADUs are also commonly referred to as coach or carriage houses. An ADU is a complete dwelling unit, including kitchen facilities, bathroom facilities, and living and sleeping areas. Coach Houses are detached from the primary dwelling unit on the lot and include a garage.

How do I register my ADU for rental?

To register your ADU, you will need to submit an application with your $200 review and registration fee, as well as a floor plan with dimensions of the ADU and parking. The application will then go to the Planning and Zoning division, and be inspected by Property Standards before being accepted.

If I am currently renting my ADU, how long do I have to register it?

If you own a property with an ADU, it is to your advantage to submit an application for registration during the voluntary application period lasting until May 31st, 2019. Property owners that notify the City and voluntarily apply during this initial registration period will not be fined for renting illegally. Beginning in June 2019, the City will be proactively seeking out ADUs that were not voluntarily registered and owners will be fined.

Will my renters be evicted during the registration process?

No, as long as the unit is registered and has no major life safety violations, existing renters will be able to stay where they are. If code violations are found during inspection, you will have 10-45 days to bring the property into compliance depending on the severity of the violations.

Is there a minimum rental period for an ADU?

Yes, an ADU must be rented for at least a one month (30 day) period. ADUs are not allowed for short term or vacation rentals under this registration. There is a separate license needed for vacation rentals.

Is parking required for an ADU?

If your ADU was constructed prior to January 12, 2015, no additional parking is required.  If your ADU was constructed after January 12, 2015, one parking space is required for the ADU in addition to the parking for the single family residence.  The zoning review will confirm your parking requirement.

How soon can my ADU be registered and rent out?

Applications will be reviewed in the order submitted. Review times will vary based on the number of applications received, how long it takes for the zoning review, and property standards inspection.

If my ADU is inspected and is not up to code, how long do I have to correct it?

Notices are issued to the property owner providing 10-45 days to bring the property into compliance depending on the severity of the violation.  If the violation is observed in the winter and correcting it is weather dependent we will allow an extended time to correct those exterior violations.

Where in Evanston can I rent my Coach House/ADU?

Coach Houses/ADUs are currently allowed as an accessory unit on any lot that has a single family home.