Why Do Some States Not Allow Tiny Homes?

This article discusses why some states do not allow tiny homes. Tiny houses are ideal for those who want to downsize and live a simple life. This type of house is popular nowadays especially for the young ones who love to travel as well as the retirees. On the other hand, not every state allows tiny houses. Read the rest of the article below to find out the reasons why.

Why do some states not allow tiny homes? Some states do not allow tiny homes because they are hard to regulate when it comes to zoning and safety. In order for some states to approve tiny houses as a form of residency, they should conform to the safety regulations. Aside from that, there should be proper permits to back them up.

The rules and regulations for building, purchasing, and living in a tiny house vary from state to state. Some states are friendlier with the idea of tiny houses, while others are not. Hence, you need to check with your area to determine the laws that are specific to your location. Make sure to check the building codes and zoning regulations in our area.

Why do some states not allow tiny homes
Image by Sharon Willen from Pixabay

Why are Tiny Houses Illegal in Some States?

One of the reasons why tiny houses are illegal in some states is that they do not meet all the requirements and regulations. Local governments usually change their minds regarding the tiny home is considered as a mobile home, a camper, or a permanent foundation home. Moreover, there are standards that apply to plumbing, electrical installation, and waste removal.

Tiny House with Wheels

If the tiny house is designed to have wheels – also referred to as a trailer with wheels and hookups, some local government will consider this as a recreational vehicle. Take note that there are some locations that do not allow full-time residency in a recreational vehicle. Hence, you cannot park you’re your tiny house with wheels on land and claim it as your house.

Aside from that, if the tiny house is considered a recreational vehicle, it has a different insurance policy as compared to a residential house. In case the tiny house was burned down, the insurance that you will get is based on an RV. If you are planning to live in a tiny house, it is best that you turn it into a permanent home rather than one with wheels.

Permanent Tiny House

If your tiny house is built on a permanent foundation, there are still rules and regulations that you need to be aware of. There is a lot of paperwork to do to make sure that the house is classified as a permanent house. Tiny houses measure 400 square feet or less. Check with your local government because some areas require a tiny home to be about 1,000 square feet or more so that it can be qualified as a residence. You can also check out this article that discusses what is considered a tiny house. We have shared tips and ideas that you can refer to.

Building Codes and Requirements

You also need to consider the building codes and regulations in your area. There are factors that should be considered before a house is deemed to be safe and legal. You need to check the ventilation, plumbing, and electricity that hooks up to the city grid. While some locations consider a tiny house to be small in square footage, it should be tall enough to meet certain standards. Check with your local government and think about the structure of your tiny house. You can add a loft to make it taller.

✅ Video – Tiny House Reality Check! Watch This Before Building or Buying One

Exploring Alternatives shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses the things that need to be considered for those who are planning to purchase and live in a tiny house. Watch the video below to learn more.

How to Keep Your Tiny House Legal?

Some of the ways to keep your tiny house legal include keeping it hitched, putting it in the right location, and experiencing part-time living. If you want to downsize and live a simple life, you need to work with the law to build a tiny house. Below are some of the ways to keep your tiny house legal.

Keep it Hitched

One way to keep your tiny house legal is to keep it hitched. Most laws about tiny houses focus on the portability of the house. Tiny houses can have wheels or no wheels depending on each state. Moreover, there are states that require the tiny house to be on wheels so that it can be relocated quickly and easily. This is a good idea especially if you love to travel. You can visit different states in your tiny house.


Another way to keep your tiny house legal is to find the right location. If your state does not allow tiny houses, you can reach out to a friend. Moving your tiny house to a privately owned area such as a farm can avoid zoning violations. Make sure that your friend is willing to cater to your tiny house. On the other hand, you can always invest in purchasing land in a state that allows tiny houses.

Part-Time Living

Downsizing from a large house to a tiny one takes some time to adjust. While tiny houses have many benefits especially to those who are planning to move to a small place, there are big changes that should be made. To adjust, some choose to live in a tiny house temporarily until they fully get the hang of it. Purchase a tiny house and have it hitched in your backyard. Live on it part-time while you learn more about the rules and regulations of a tiny house in your area. Part-time living in your tiny house will make it a recreational property so certain zoning laws do not apply.

Types of Tiny Houses

The two types of tiny houses include the tiny house on wheels and the tiny house on a foundation. Let us learn more below about each type of tiny house and its pros and cons.

Tiny House on Wheels

Tiny houses on wheels are also referred to as an RV or recreational vehicle. If you choose this type of tiny house, make sure that it is registered as an RV and look for a place where you can park it. Nowadays, you can find many campsites across the States that allow you to park your RV. On the other hand, take note that most states do not permit full-time residency in an RV. They only permit it when it is parked in a designated RV park.

Tiny House on a Foundation

Another type of tiny house is one that has a foundation. This is also considered an accessory dwelling unit or ADU. Tiny houses on a foundation usually come in the form of cottages or granny flats. On the other hand, you need to take note that there are regulations that prevent house owners from buying land to build a tiny house. Hence, you need to build it next to an already existing residential house. This can be an issue if you have limited land. We have also shared this article that discusses what is a cottage vs. a cabin is. Check out the article for more information about the topic.

Can You Buy Land and Put a Tiny House on it?

Not all states allow you to buy land and put a tiny house on it. This is because of the zoning and building regulations. Some states prevent you from buying land and building a tiny house on it. In order to build a tiny house into the land that you purchase, you first need to build an accessory dwelling unit. As a result, you will have a secondary house located on a single lot. You can also check out this article titled, what is considered a small-sized house? We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Do You Pay Taxes on Tiny Houses?

Different states have different rules and regulations when it comes to paying taxes on a tiny house. For sure, tiny houses have fewer property tax bills as compared to traditional houses. On the other hand, if you live in a state that requires personal property taxes, you have to annually pay a personal property tax on your tiny house. You can also check out this article titled, why is it illegal to live in a tiny house? We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Where is the Best Place to Live in a Tiny House?

Some of the best places to live in a tiny house include California, Texas, North Carolina, and Florida. These places have friendly laws on tiny houses as compared to other states. We have also shared this article that discusses if you can live permanently in a tiny house. Check out the article to learn more about the topic.


In this article, we have discussed why some states do not allow tiny homes. We have found out that the safety and zoning requirements of some states make it hard for one to own a tiny house. If you are thinking about purchasing and living in a tiny house, make sure to check with your local government to find out the rules and regulations that you need to follow. Thank you for reading!

Recent Posts