Tiny Houses Legality: Everything You Need to Know

Tiny Houses Legality: Everything You Need to Know

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Mobile tiny house. Great for outdoor experiences and wildlife. Lots of mobility and pure adventure. No need for special authorizations, only a decent car to pull this tiny house and off you go.
Tiny houses aren’t just tiny houses. They are following rules and regulations that each state has made.

About 10 years ago, tiny houses became popular. Since then, a lot of people have embraced minimalism through the tiny house lifestyle. Much more than a simpler lifestyle, tiny houses have helped people save money while saving the environment as well. 

Due to its increasing popularity, states across nations have developed building codes and zoning regulations specifically for tiny houses. These building codes and zoning regulations have a direct impact on the construction and placement of tiny houses. 

Whether you are planning to build a tiny house right on your own property or move into a tiny house community, you must know the tiny house legalities in your area. 

Before you finally move into a tiny house, it pays that you carefully review the state and local regulations. Knowing so will help you get the most out of your tiny house right at the moment you step foot on it. 

Here is everything that you need to know about tiny houses’ legality.

Building Codes for Tiny Houses

The following standardization for tiny houses are made in compliance with the International Building Code (IBC)

Ceiling Height

The ceiling of a tiny house in common spaces must have a minimum height of 6 feet 8 inches. Bathrooms must have a minimum of 6 feet 4 inches while lofts are allowed to be less than 6 feet 8 inches. 

Windows

There is no existing law that requires how many windows a tiny house should have. However, the law requires tiny houses to abide by the standard requirement, which is to have at least one window that can be used as an emergency exit. This is important so that you can easily escape in case an emergency happens. 

The bottom of the opening of the window shall not be located more than 44 inches above the loft floor. 

Plumbing

One separate bathroom is required for each tiny house. This is required for sanitation purposes. It would be unhygienic to place your bathroom right inside your tiny house without a wall to keep it separate from the rest of your tiny house. 

Mobile tiny house interior. Great for outdoor experiences and wildlife. Lots of space and pure adventure.
There are parts of the tiny houses which follow certain standards as some codes require.

Lofts

The code does not include the loft in the maximum floor area that a tiny house can have. However, the code requires a minimum floor area and dimensions for a tiny house if it will be used for living and sleeping. 

According to Section AQ104 of the IBC, lofts shall have a minimum floor area not less than 35 square feet and shall not be less than 5 feet in any horizontal dimension. 

However, there are portions of the loft that are not included in the minimum floor area and horizontal dimension that is required. If a portion of a slope is less than 3 feet from the floor to the ceiling, then this is not included in the minimum area required for a loft. 

Stairways

Tiny houses are required to have stairs in order to reach loft areas. Stairways above the handrail height shall not be lower than 17 inches while the stairways below the handrail height shall not be less than 20 inches in width. 

Risers shall not be less than 12 inches in height and not more than 7 inches in width. To get the accepted riser height of a certain tiny house, the following formula is used: 

15 inches – ¾ of the Tread depth = Risers Height

Tread depth, on the other hand, is calculated using this formula:

20 inches – 4/3 of the riser height = Tread Depth

 A landing platform shall be built from the top tread and the riser of the stairway accessing the loft area. The landing platform shall have the following measurements

 and dimensions:

  • 16 inches to 18 inches in height from the landing platform to the loft floor
  • 18 inches to 22 inches in depth from the nosing of the landing platform to the edge of the loft

The handrails and stair guards of tiny house stairs follow the same dimensions that are required in a full-sized house. 

Ladders

The rung of the ladders that are used to access the loft area of a tiny house shall have a width that is not lower than 12 inches. The rungs shall have 20 to 14 inches spaces in between. 

It is required that a ladder could support a 200-pound load and shall be installed at a 70 to 80-degree horizontal incline.

When it comes to Alternating Tread Devices or Ship Ladders, the required is 20 inches and above below the handrail height. Loft guards shall be placed on the side of the loft that is open. The minimum height for loft guards is either 36 inches or ½ of the height to the ceiling.

live big in a tiny living space - tiny house interior with brown and white hues

Zoning Regulations

In as much as you can’t build a full-sized house anywhere, tiny houses have restrictions when it comes to where you can build or park them. To find out if it is legal to park or build a tiny house to where you are planning to have one, consult your local zoning department. 

There are federal laws and local zoning regulations that a tiny house should comply with. However, you are allowed to build outside of the existing codes by applying through your local planning commission. At the end of the day, it all boils down to how tiny-house friendly a place is. 

Variations in Tiny Houses

Generally, there are two types of tiny houses – tiny houses on wheels and tiny houses on a foundation. The rules and regulations that govern each of these types of tiny houses vary drastically. Take a further look at the things that each of these types has to abide:

Tiny House on Wheels

Legally, tiny houses on wheels are called recreational vehicles or RV. This means that you have to find a legal place where you can park your vehicle. RVs are required to be registered with the state’s motor vehicles department. 

While there are a lot of campsites in the States, most of the states do not allow an RV to serve as a full-time residency. Not unless the campsite has a designated RV parking area. 

In most cases, these rules are not followed not unless you give your neighborhood a reason to complain against you. 

Tiny Houses on Foundation

Tiny houses on a foundation are legally referred to as an accessory dwelling units or ADU. This type of tiny house may be site-built, or it may be transported to your lot and permanently attached to the foundation. They often come in the form of cottages or granny flats.

Due to the regulations which prohibit purchasing lands for tiny houses alone, most owners opt to build their tiny house beside an existing residential dwelling. 

Codes and Regulations for Tiny Homes in Some States

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In the United States of America, laws, and requirements from each state vary.

Whether you own a tiny house or plan to have one, you will surely come across the problem of where you can build or park it. Finding a place where you can legally have a tiny house is not as easy as it sounds. 

Finding a place where you can home your tiny house starts with knowing the codes and regulations that each state has. Here are the codes and regulations that each state has when it comes to where you can build or park your tiny house:

Alabama

Tiny House Friendly: 2⁄10

In Alabama, tiny houses are not that accepted. The building codes and zoning requirements drastically differ from one country to another. In fact, some cities in Alabama have their own set of limiting and unique requirements, which makes it hard to make tiny houses.

Thankfully, Alabama has not totally closed its door to tiny houses. Some areas in the state have accepted it. In Jefferson County, ADUs are allowed in certain areas, given they do not exceed 200 square feet. 

Alaska

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

Alaska is more open to tiny houses than it is in Alabama. But, there are still considerable differences between counties and towns in the state. In the Anchorage metropolitan area of the state alone, around 40 percent of the state’s population lives there already.

Tiny houses on a foundation are required to secure a conditional use permit and have to meet certain building codes. On the other hand, tiny houses on wheels are considered as RVs, which makes them restricted to R – 5 zones. Also, the state requires tiny houses that are built on municipal properties to be connected to sewage and water.

A point to remember is that Anchorage’s suburbs have specific requirements that vary from unincorporated areas. In addition, Anchorage and the communities that surround it do not have official building codes that are specifically made for tiny houses. 

Arizona

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

Arizona is more tiny house friendly than other states. Just like any other state, it does not have statewide tiny home building and zoning requirements. Due to this, tiny houses are subjected to city and county regulations and laws.

In Piman City, which is located on the southern border with Mexico, building a tiny house is legal. Pima City is the second most populated county in the state of Arizona. Tucson and its suburbs mostly compromise this county. 

In this county, a tiny house on a foundation can be built on any lot allotted for single-family detached houses. On the other hand, a tiny house on wheels is considered as a factory-built home given that it is located on a permanent foundation, and its suspension and axles have been removed.

The county has building codes that are specifically made for tiny houses. Such building codes include the following:

  • Tiny houses with loft areas should have stairs or ladders as access. 
  • Tiny houses with lofts must follow standardized safety requirements. 
  • Tiny houses must abide by the special electrical circuit requirements.

The building codes in the county do not have any specific requirements when it comes to the number of windows, doors and emergency exits. It does not also require any specific ceiling height. 

As of now, the county places second as the most tiny house friendly area in the state, which is followed by Coconino county. Unluckily, other areas in Arizona do not still have tiny house regulations. 

Arkansas

Tiny House Friendly: 2⁄10

It is not a secret that the housing cost in California is expensive. This makes it very thrilling to know that somehow, California is open to tiny houses. Tiny houses are considered to be accessory dwelling units or ADUs in most jurisdictions which means that they are allowed yet with certain restrictions.

The destructive fires in Sonoma County have made it possible to build tiny houses without building permits. It also has permitted the fire victims to build tiny houses without compelling zoning. 

Tiny homes on wheels are allowed as a secondary dwelling in San Francisco and Fresno as long as there is an existing residential house in the lot. 

This means that tiny houses are only allowed in a residential neighborhood and can’t be built as a permanent house. 

One thing to keep in mind when planning to have a tiny house in California is that RVs are not allowed to serve as a permanent house. But this isn’t exactly an issue. Besides, California has one of the highest numbers of nomads. 

Nomad is the general term used for people who travel trailers or even their car or the ones who live in RVs. They are the ones who do not have a permanent address. It is advised to reach out to local jurisdictions since laws and regulations vary from one suburb to another in California. 

Colorado

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

In Colorado, there is no such thing as national laws or regulations specifically for tiny houses. The good thing is many counties have welcomed people who want to live in this lifestyle. 

There are already established site-built tiny house codes in Park County. To be more specific, tiny houses in this county must have a private bathroom and a separate closet. The private bathroom must have a lavatory, a water closet, and either a shower or a bathtub.

Moreover, if the tiny house is for one or two occupants, then it should at least be 220 square feet. An additional 100 square feet is required for an additional occupant. 

Tiny houses in Park County should also abide by the standard residential building codes for life safety features, mechanical equipment, ventilation, and lighting.

Also, the kitchen counter’s work area should be at least 30 inches long. If a modular or manufactured tiny house is your choice, then it should at least be 600 square feet. It should also follow local Land Use Regulations.

Walsenburg has a specific regulation when it comes to tiny houses. Tiny homes are required to compel to a lot of building code requirements just like residential houses do. However, the city has certain requirements when it comes to exit door width, stairways, and minimum square footage.

Connecticut

Tiny House Friendly: 0/10

Connecticut is considered as one of the strictest cities when it comes to tiny houses, be it an RV or on foundation. Despite the fact that the city needs affordable houses, the topic of tiny houses is not yet unveiled yet. This is because its zoning regulations aren’t compatible with tiny houses.

Delaware

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

There is no specific regulation for tiny houses yet in Delaware, but there are already advocates who are bringing out the topic. Tiny houses on wheels are considered RVs in Delaware. This means that the owner should secure an ownership title 30 days after purchase. 

If a tiny house is greater than 400 square feet, then it is qualified as a mobile home. Thus, it has to abide by existing laws and regulations. On the other hand, if a tiny house falls less than 400 square feet, then it is considered as a trailer. 

Florida

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

Most parts of Florida have openly welcomed tiny house dwellers. In Florida, there are already existing tiny house hotels and rental communities which allow everyone to experience the lifestyle. This indicates how open the city is when it comes to tiny houses. 

Tiny houses on wheels in Florida are required to be properly registered as RV at the Department of Motor Vehicles. On the other hand, laws and regulations on tiny houses on foundation vary from one area to another. 

In St. Petersburg, accessory dwelling units or ADUs that are between 375 and 750 square feet are only allowed in specific zones. 

While in Orange County, it is required that an accessory dwelling unit should at least have footage of 400 square feet. Lastly, in Sarasota County, if you plan to stay in the same RV park for 45 days or more then you should build it on a foundation. 

Georgia

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

Just like Florida, Georgia has widely accepted tiny houses too despite the lack of statewide regulations and requirements. This is because tiny homes are more affordable compared to traditional houses. Most areas in Georgia have not addressed the issue yet between tiny houses on foundations and tiny houses on wheels.

In most cases, tiny house owners are required to abide by the 2012 International Residential Code. Furthermore, accessory dwelling units or ADUs are not legally available for rent. 

Particularly, there is no minimum square footage requirement for accessory dwelling units in Decatur since 2014 under the Unified Development Ordinance.

On the other hand, Atlanta has classified accessory dwelling units as a tiny house that has a kitchen stove. Tiny houses with full-time occupancy are also considered as ADUs. Such tiny houses are only allowed in R-5 zoned areas. 

Tiny houses without full-time occupancy or gas stove are considered as a guest house. Guesthouses are allowed to stay anywhere from R – 1 to R – 5 zoned areas. 

Hawaii

Tiny House Friendly: 5⁄10

Unlike other states, regulations, and requirements of tiny houses in Hawaii is statewide. Tiny houses are allowed to be built anywhere in the state. Tiny homeowners wanna-be can freely buy land and build a tiny house. But, tiny houses are not allowed in places that are ruled by restrictive covenants. 

Hawaii has a unique requirement when it comes to tiny houses on wheels. This is because tiny houses on wheels are considered as ADUs in the state. This means that they have to abide by all relevant zoning restrictions. They are also considered travel trailers so they must be registered to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. 

The Hawaii Tiny House Initiative has greatly contributed to accommodate the affordable housing needs of the state’s agriculture workers. Building a house in Hawaii is expensive due to the booming tourism industry that makes it hard for residents to build a home which makes tiny houses a perfect option for them. 

County codes have been changed through the Hawaii Tiny House Initiative. Such codes have allowed tiny houses (less than 220 square feet) to be built as special farm dwellings. These special farm dwellings should have a bathroom and a separate living room and kitchen. 

Idaho

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

Different types of tiny homes have different definitions in Idaho, which serve as the basis for regulations going forward. Tiny houses in Idaho must comply with one of the following options:

  • Modular Tiny House – This is a type of tiny home that has been mostly or entirely prefabricated in another place before it has been transported to its intended location. A modular tiny house must follow everything under the HUD construction and safety standards created for manufactured housing. A modular tiny house should at least have a floor space of 150 square feet.
  • Site – Built – Site built tiny houses are the ones that are built where they are really intended to be placed.vThey are not meant to be moved or relocated. It should also have a floor space of 150 square feet just like the modular tiny house. 
  • Recreational Vehicle – A recreational vehicle in Idaho is defined as a travel trailer, camping trailer, motor home, or truck camper that is designed for emergency human habitation or for recreation. Their maximum width is 8½ feet.

Illinois

Tiny House Friendly: 5⁄10

Most areas in Illinois have not yet accepted tiny houses. Besides, there are areas which really do not accept tiny houses. Chicago and other cities, for example, have not allowed tiny houses to be built in their respective areas at all. 

Yet, there are still places that have accepted tiny houses. In these areas, tiny houses are allowed to be built or parked in private properties as well as in mobile home parks and campgrounds. 

Whether you can build a tiny house or not on your own land depends on the county-specific rules. If what you own is a tiny house on wheels, then it is classified as a recreational trailer that compels you to register it to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Indiana

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

Building codes for tiny houses in Indiana vary from one place to another. The residential building codes in the state are not applicable to tiny houses that were built for personal use. This is known as The Log Cabin Rule. The Log Cabin Rule is only applicable to tiny houses that are fixed on lands and not on wheels. 

You can, however, find tiny home neighborhoods in Indiana. Some residential neighborhoods have also been allowed to build tiny houses near or beside residential homes. Also, the tiny house rules vary in Carmel, Indianapolis, Evansville, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Bloomington, and others.

Iowa

Tiny House Friendly: 3⁄10

A lot of communities and counties in Iowa can’t build tiny houses because of the set minimum square footage requirements for residential dwellings. This requirement hinders residents from building their own tiny house in their desired area. One particular place with such a rule is Iowa Falls.

In Iowa Falls, the minimum size requirement for residential properties has been adjusted to 500 square feet. So, the city can only allow larger tiny homes as of this time. But actually, the 500 square feet minimum is a downgrade of the 600 square feet requirement before. 

Other parts of Iowa greatly discourage tiny homes. In Des Moines, a proposed tiny house development was not approved. This means that people who want to have a tiny house near Des Moines should look for land in rural or outlying areas surrounding the city. These places have less stringent zoning regulations.

Kansas

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

Kansas is more open to tiny houses as long as it is on a foundation and not on wheels. There are county-wide and state-wide regulations in the state when it comes to tiny houses. The minimum square footage for tiny houses on a foundation is 170 square feet. 

The 170 square feet floor space should have one room and a second room which can’t be either the bathroom or kitchen. The second room should at least be 50 square feet. 

Furthermore, all tiny houses on foundation should be built on a lot with an area of at least 3,000 square feet. RS3 is the smallest zoning district that allows tiny houses. 

Accessory dwelling units are not allowed in RS3 or RS5 zoned areas. They can only be built on single dwelling residential zoning areas with the likes of  RS40, RS, RS10, and RS7. Composting toilets are banned regardless of where the tiny house is built. 

But, propane gas and solar panels are allowed based on IFC regulations. A small wind generation system that does not exceed 35 feet is also permitted. 

Tiny houses on wheels are not allowed to park in private lands and parks. They can only be parked on designated campgrounds. 

Kentucky

Tiny House Friendly: 5⁄10

Most tiny houses in Kentucky are built in Louisville because of how large the city is. There are specific rules in restriction in the city but all in all, tiny houses are allowed in the entire metropolis. 

Site-built or permanent tiny homes are allowed only if they are built on a foundation. And, the process of securing building requests for a tiny house on a foundation is the same as acquiring other residential construction requests.

In Louisville, a modular tiny house is considered as a house with components that are made off-site that will be assembled on a fixed foundation later on. In order for a tiny house to be considered as a modular home, special tiny house construction kits should be used. 

Louisville is very open to tiny houses but a special review process is necessary before a permit may be granted. The applicant may also be required to submit additional documentation to secure a building permit. 

On the other hand, tiny houses on wheels are required for the zoning restrictions of Louisville. Keep in mind that manufactured and assembled off-site tiny houses are considered as pre-manufactured homes in the state. Pre-manufactured homes in Louisville are subject to special state approval. 

Louisiana

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

A lot of tiny home designs are not conducive to Louisiana’s building regulations. This is because compliance with the 2012 International Residential Code is mandatory in the state. 

The code requires ceilings of tiny houses to be elevated to at least 7 feet. This includes lofts and all other areas of the structure. Stairs are more preferred than ladders in loft areas. A window that serves as an emergency exit is also required. 

Furthermore, one of the rooms of the tiny house should at least have a floor area of 120 square feet. Doors, hallways, and staircases must be 3 feet or wider. The city is open to tiny houses but its restrictions make it hard to build a tiny house. 

Maine

Tiny House Friendly: 9⁄10

Maine is one of the few states that has approved requirements when it comes to the construction of tiny houses. To begin with, a tiny house should not exceed 400 square feet. Sleeping lofts with ladders as access are allowed. Skylights in loft areas that serve as emergency exits are also allowed. 

Tiny houses on foundation must comply with the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code requirements. These guidelines for tiny houses are statewide, but cities have the power to deny a construction request. 

There are areas in Maine too wherein boat houses are converted into an accessory dwelling unit following the time home’s construction guidelines.

Tiny houses on North Yarmouth are considered as camping if it is in the same exact location for more than 120 days of the year. If it exceeds 120 days, then it must comply with the established building codes for tiny homes already. Tiny homes that were built before the effective date of the ordinance are exempted. The same goes for land areas that are more than 30,000 square feet.

Maryland

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

There is no specific definition of what a tiny house is in Maryland. This means that there are no existing tiny house laws or requirements yet in the state. But generally speaking, they consider tiny houses on wheels as recreational activities or RVs. 

Since tiny houses on wheels are considered as RVs, they can only be parked on designated RV parks. It is the management of the RV parks too who establishes specific rules for the tiny houses. 

Tiny houses on a foundation are allowed in most areas in Maryland. That is, as long as zoning restrictions in urban and suburban areas permit. But since such zoning restrictions do not confirm with tiny houses, most tiny houses then are in rural areas. 

Massachusetts

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

Living in a tiny house that meets the requirements for an accessory dwelling unit is an easier option than living in a tiny house on wheels in Massachusetts. Most of the towns in the state allow accessory dwelling units. But, the building requirements vary from one town to another. 

They are very open to tiny houses that certain towns allow up to three ADUs with the condition that the third tiny house should not be more than 550 square feet. However, the state has no definite definition yet of what a tiny house is. But certainly, tiny houses do not meet the requirements for accessory dwelling units.

Tiny houses on wheels are allowed for camping purposes in the state as long as they are parked on an RV park. Certain problems may arise for people who want to permanently live on tiny houses on wheels. 

Michigan

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

In the entire state of Michigan, zoning restrictions and building requirements are set in order to accommodate tiny houses. There were campaigns before for accessory dwelling units to be allowed in all residential areas as well.

As a matter of fact, Economy Efficiency Dwelling was introduced in Briley Township. An Economy Efficiency Dwelling is a house that has an area between 240 and 500 square feet. The exterior of this dwelling should be between 20 to 30 feet wide and 12 and 20 feet tall. 

In addition, it also has to abide by the state’s sanitation and building codes. Economy Efficiency Dwellings is also required to meet all requirements for a Certificate of Occupancy. 

They must be built on a permanent foundation. Such houses are only allowed in areas zoned for Residential 2, Agriculture and Forest Rec.

Minnesota

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

For zoning purposes, Minnesota has defined tiny houses in two ways. The first one is, tiny houses on wheels are Recreational Activities or RVs. The second one is, tiny houses on foundations are considered as accessory dwelling units. 

This is because ADUs in the state are required to be built on a foundation. Furthermore, ADUs also have to comply with the same building codes for traditional houses. 

Finding a place where building or parking a tiny house is legal is very hard in the city. Thankfully, a lot of towns in this state are becoming more open to tiny houses as a more affordable option for seniors and disabled residents. 

Mississippi

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

After Mississippi was hit by hurricane Katrina, the state has used tiny homes as emergency shelters. But, the use of tiny houses as a permanent home is not yet allowed in most cities of the state. Generally, Mississippi has not yet officially accepted tiny houses since there are no defined rules and requirements yet. 

However, there have been a lot of efforts in order for tiny houses to be fully accepted and be legalized in the state. Tiny houses on permitted places typically measure between 100 square feet and 900 square feet. 

Some of the places in Mississippi which have accepted tiny houses include Southaven, Jackson, Vicksburg, Biloxi, Meridian, Hattiesburg, Meridian, Gulfport, and Tupelo.

Missouri

Tiny House Friendly: 3⁄10

Tiny houses on wheels are considered travel trailers in most parts of  Missouri. This limits the place where tiny houses on wheels can park. Travel trailers are defined in the wheel-mounted portable temporary shelter platform. 

Travel trailers are not allowed to be parked on streets and in any public place in the entire state. They are also not allowed to be used inside the boundaries of a city. Tiny houses with a living area that is less than 220 square feet are not required to secure special permits. 

The cities Saint Charles, Branson, St. Louis, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Columbia, and Springfield have permitted site-built tiny homes on foundations. However, zoning restrictions and construction guidelines vary between cities. 

Montana

Tiny House Friendly: 3⁄10

Montana is in great need for affordable housing solutions but has not yet recognized the existence of tiny houses. This makes it important for tiny house owners wanna-be in the state to do thorough research on laws and permissions which might be needed when building or parking a tiny house. 

Tiny houses on a foundation are allowed while tiny houses on wheels are considered as RVs or travel trailers. Thus, it must comply with relevant restrictions and regulations. 

Nebraska

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

Nebraska has a formal definition of tiny houses. It also has specific building requirements and zoning restrictions when it comes to the different types of houses in the city. 

A manufactured or mobile home is an assembled structure based on the regulations of the HUD Federal Manufactured Home. These are the tiny homes that have successfully passed the HUD inspection which qualified them to receive an approval label. 

Modular home refers to tiny houses that are constructed under the guidelines and codes of the National Electric Code and the International Residential Code. These tiny houses have received a label that approved their status as a Nebraska Modular Housing Unit.

The last type of tiny house on the list in Nebraska is the tiny house on wheels. Tiny houses on wheels are required to comply with the Park Model Recreational Vehicle Standard, the National Fire Protection Association Code 1192 or the NFPA Standard on Recreational Vehicles. 

Tiny houses on wheels in Nebraska are classified as to how travel trailers and motor-homes are classified. 

New Jersey

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

Due to how affordable tiny houses are than traditional houses, a lot of residents in New Jersey are getting interested in it. But, there are no zoning regulations and requirements yet when it comes to tiny houses. Besides, there are cities in New Jersey that have totally banned the building of tiny houses.

The Land Use Board did not allow tiny houses in a community that would be used by military veterans. Other areas have passed laws allowing restricted uses of tiny houses. For example, Haverstraw allows you to build a tiny house on a foundation if it will be used by a property caretaker and only if the parcel of land meets acreage requirements.

In Rockland-area communities, a tiny house on wheels that is classified as a recreational vehicle and that is not occupied can be stored on an unincorporated parcel.

North Carolina

Tiny House Friendly: 6⁄10

The legality and acceptance of tiny houses is a hot issue in North Carolina. This is because some netizens think that tiny houses have a negative value on the impact and appeal to their houses. 

Others consider tiny houses as an excellent solution to overcrowding in high-density areas and are a good alternative for people who can’t afford a full-sized house. 

In the county of Wilmington, a tiny house that is occupied by a single person is to at least have a floor area of 150 square feet. If there will be another occupant, then another floor area which is around 100 square feet should be added. 

Tiny houses in North Carolina are subjected to local housing ordinances too. Just like in Winston-Salem wherein accessory dwelling units are allowed to be built on single-family residential lots given that the occupant is the caretaker or a relative. 

There are still other restrictions on tiny houses in the entire state so make it a habit to check first before doing something. 

North Dakota

Tiny House Friendly: 5⁄10

Tiny houses are of increasing popularity in North Dakota. But there are no specific laws in the state yet when it comes to tiny houses. The requirements in each city and county generally vary which requires a thorough understanding of each of them.

In Burleigh County, residential homes are required to at least 965 square feet floor area. This is too large for a tiny home. 

Due to this, tiny houses are only allowed on agricultural lots throughout the area. This requires tiny houses to comply with the Burleigh County Ordinance and the North Dakota Century Code. 

Tiny houses are also allowed on lots that are more than 40 acres. In the same county, all residential structures are required to meet all local building codes. 

Tiny houses are also required to be connected to public utilities for water, electricity, gas, and sewer. 

On the other hand, tiny homes on wheels that are meant to stay one place must be mounted to a permanent foundation. Accessory dwelling units are not accepted yet in Burleigh County. Only specialized granny suites that have met the specific requirements are allowed. 

Ohio

Tiny House Friendly: 3⁄10

Ohio has no specific classification system for tiny houses yet. This means that there are no laws and regulations for tiny houses yet in the state. 

For example, in Cleveland, residential homes, regardless of their size, are required to at least have 950 square feet floor area. There are no local ordinances yet for tiny houses alongside its unique building requirements. But, accessory dwelling units are allowed in the area as long as it will not serve as a primary house. 

On the other hand, other areas have grouped tiny houses with other structures known as a variance. The confusion on the residents is the primary reason why tiny houses are not yet fully grown in the state. 

Oklahoma

Tiny House Friendly: 4⁄10

The state of Oklahoma has no specific definitions and regulations yet for tiny houses. But this did not become the hindrance to tiny house owners to spread the lifestyle in the entire state. Besides, there are already tiny house communities in the Wheeler District and in the northwestern region of the state as well. 

Tiny houses on wheels are considered as RVs in the state. This means that they should meet all necessary requirements. Due to the unaddressed specific requirements of tiny houses, a lot of Oklahoma residents prefer to have their tiny houses in a rural area which is not under the strict zoning regulations of the state. 

Oregon

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

The state of Oregon already has established laws and requirements for tiny houses. There are already existing housing construction and zoning requirements due to the popularity of the state’s Tiny House Hotel. 

Tiny houses on wheels across the state are required to secure required documents from the Department of Motor Vehicles. However, the permits and inspections for tiny homes on wheels are not yet under the control of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. 

This means that tiny houses on wheels residents must use a commercial hauler. They should also have a special trip permit whenever they want to transfer to another area. 

Pennsylvania

Tiny House Friendly: 8⁄10

Pennsylvania is open to tiny houses. Generally, some cities are more accepting while others are not. 

The largest tiny house community in the entire USA is located in Elizabethtown, which is a county in Pennsylvania. On the other hand, there is no minimum house size requirement for tiny houses in Philadelphia. But, they should follow the requirements of the International Residential Code 2009.

The tiny house should also have at least one room with a floor area of 120 square feet and above. In addition, another room with a floor area of 70 square feet and above is also required. Unless it is the kitchen of the tiny house, all rooms should be 7 feet and above in length, width or height. 

Rhode Island

Tiny House Friendly: 2⁄10

There are no laws and regulations yet for tiny houses in Rhode Island. However, there are passed laws already for accessory dwelling units. The law allows ADUs to be built if the primary home is used by the owner or if the ADU will be occupied by a family member that is 62 years old and above. 

South Dakota

Tiny House Friendly: 7⁄10

South Dakota has gone through a lot for tiny houses. Communities across the state have passed different ordinances for tiny houses. For example, tiny houses on wheels are allowed to stay at a commercial campground for a short time. 

While tiny houses on a foundation are required to comply with the local zoning restrictions and building codes. A tiny house that will be occupied by one person only should at least have 187 square feet of living space. 

If there will be an additional person, the tiny house should expand by around 50 square feet. The tiny house must have a width ranging from 8.5 feet and 20 feet.

Texas

Tiny House Friendly: 9⁄10

Tiny houses are not yet that popular in Texas but there are established regulations already. These codes and regulations are based and determined by local jurisdictions. 

In Breckenridge, tiny houses should be permanently fixed on a foundation. They should at least have a floor area of 320 square feet. While on Spur, there is no required floor area. Tiny houses on wheels are also allowed as long as the wheels have been removed and the home is anchored to the ground. 

Conclusion

Generally speaking, the laws which authorize tiny houses vary from one state to another. This makes it a must for you to check the existing laws and regulations in your target location. In as much as possible, avoid areas that are very strict when it comes to tiny houses to avoid any problem from arising. 

Related Questions

Do you need council approval for a tiny house?

If your tiny house is registered as a trailer, then you do not need council approval. But if your tiny house is on a foundation, then you will have to secure DA approval. 

Do you need planning permission for a tiny house?

Mobile homes that measure around 65 x 22 ft in size can be placed on a property without planning permission as long as members of the household use them as additional living space.

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