Where to park your Tiny House
A tiny House in a national park
Please note this comment is from Tiny House builders in the USA BUT has applicability to Australia
If you have done any research into tiny houses on wheels, the question “where can you park and live in a tiny house?” has surely come up. The problem with this question is that there is no definitive answer. The rules, codes, and laws vary from state to state, county to county and sometimes even town to town.
It is important to understand the different terms and classifications that your home may or may not be placed in. Many of the rules that govern structures and housing have been established for a long time with only incremental changes over the years. When a new housing option comes along like tiny houses, which is rare, governing bodies either need to fit it into an existing classification to determine which rules apply or create a new classification and new rules.
For the most part, any semi-trailer, boat trailer, utility trailer, flatbed trailer, box trailer or horse trailer is considered to be just that – a trailer. Since most tiny houses are built on trailers, they are frequently initially registered only as a trailer. The reason for this is the lower yearly fee to register and renew a trailer versus an RV.), this is probably how you will want to register your tiny house.
Some individuals are pushing for legislative change to introduce a new classification specifically for tiny houses. This makes the most sense, since none of the existing classifications are a great match for tiny houses. While this approach is preferred by many, it is also the most challenging. The amount of work required to do so is not a task most government agencies are up for taking on.
If your tiny house is built on a foundation, it is subject to all the local building codes. These codes are in place to make sure there is a minimum quality and safety standards that these homes are being built to. If you are building on a trailer, there isn’t typically a governing body who needs or wants to inspect your home. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow the rules. The building codes are there to keep you safe. Over the years we’ve seen homes built to all ranges of quality and safety. Before building your houses, be sure to do your research.
Flying Under the Radar
Most people who live in tiny houses have at least a little bit of a rebel streak within them. After all, tiny houses are anything but mainstream. So, it should be no surprise that most tiny home dwellers are doing so without implicit approval from their local government. This can be easier to accomplish and be more successful in less conspicuous locations (we’ll talk about those next).
You will only want to consider this option if your house is on wheels, since the worst-case scenario is that you need to move your home. If your house is on a foundation and built without permission, the government can forcibly remove your home (think bulldozer).
Be a Good Neighbor
Regardless of the approach you take, you’ll want to be a good neighbor. As previously mentioned, code enforcement is complaint driven. So, don’t do anything to upset your neighbors.
Also, make sure to inform your neighbors of your plans before moving a tiny house onto your property. For instance, if you plan to put a tiny house in your back yard, make sure those around you know your intentions. If they don’t know, they may assume the worst (the house is the first of 10) and want to stop you before it gets bad.