HUD Regulations...Tiny Houses vs. RV Fulltimers - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-09-2016, 10:25 AM   #1
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HUD Regulations...Tiny Houses vs. RV Fulltimers

This is one interesting and often confusing topic.
RVTravel.com has an in depth report in this week's issue Fulltimers will find very informative.
It seems the newest fad in housing...the Tiny House movement has caused the government thru HUD to formulate regulations to protect buyers and builders of these Tiny structures. Many of these housing units fail to meet building codes and most end up being built on travel trailer like frames ready to roll and often dangerous/overweight etc.
If you have seen these Tiny Houses on their Television program you already know what this issue is about.
This week's RVTravel.com's report has many links that will bring RV travel trailer owners up to date. The HUD regulations are not aimed at or designed to restrict Fulltimers from living in their RV's...although initial reports seemed to have caused some panic among Fulltimers .
I have watched several editions of the Tiny House program on TV and must admit I wondered how these structures could meet building codes, sanitation codes, fire codes and over the road transportation codes. The HUD involvement was inevitable and the RVIA's position is covered in the excellent RVTravel.com article and all the links provided.
Well worth reading.
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:57 AM   #2
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Thanks for the link!
I've seem some of those "creations" and wondered about them, especially being very top heavy.

Joe
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:18 AM   #3
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That stupid TV show has done more damage to the Tiny House movement than most anything else.
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:06 PM   #4
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In our area they are having constant issues with people who buy small back wood or lake lots and then park an RV or build a shack on the lot. They install a well for water but no means to properly dispose of the waste water and then complain when a government agency cites them . My neighbor had an RV trailer
on his lot as a summer home until one of the other neighbors caught him draining his black and gray tanks down the hill and into the lake. The DNR told him to install a septic system or get the trailer off the lot. According to him this was his lot and because he could not afford a septic , the DNR had no right to make him move.
The neighbors on either side of him ,who had to smell the raw sewage saw it differently. I have no issues with living in a small home but just because they are small does not mean they don't need to comply with the building ,sanitary and fire codes.
The other issue is they leave the trailer on the lot for years yet
because it's on wheels even though the tires are rotted and flat ,that the trailer is portable and thusly they should not have to pay property taxes . That way they can use the schools and government services but not have to pay taxes to pay for them.
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Old 04-10-2016, 09:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
The other issue is they leave the trailer on the lot for years yet
because it's on wheels even though the tires are rotted and flat ,that the trailer is portable and thusly they should not have to pay property taxes . That way they can use the schools and government services but not have to pay taxes to pay for them.
The "owner" of the property just like YOU pays property tax on that property based upon the value of the property and the improvements on the property as assessed by the local county property assessor. An "RV" trailer is not a property improvement as it is not a structure that is regulated by the local government as a permanent living structure through local building codes IF there are any building codes at all as discussed in the article referenced above. The local government can through property codes regulate IF that RV can be parked on that property and for how long.

If you don't like your neighbors RV parked on his property next to your lovely roses call the city/county codes and see if you neighbor is violating any local codes to the local regulators can do something to legally solve this problem!

A mobile home IS a regulated living structure subject to local building codes and as such is assessed as a property improvement adding a value to the property.

Rest assured that SOMEONE is paying some amount of property tax on that property you describe above!
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:21 AM   #6
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...Rest assured that SOMEONE is paying some amount of property tax on that property you describe above!
True, but an unimproved lot pays far less than a lot with an approved residential structure. If people are living full time in an RV on an unimproved lot next door to someone with a house on the property, they are paying less than their share of the cost of tax-funded services. I think that's the inequity Steve is pointing out.

Have to say, though… most places where this would be tolerated at all don't provide much in the way of services…

The remedy, through changes to local ordinances, is slo-o-o-w and often includes grandfather clauses. If it's going to bother you, best find out what local zoning and codes permit and restrict before you buy property. Even enforcing existing codes is a drawn-out process, as I am finding with a derelict property across the street from my cabin.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:27 AM   #7
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The answer to all this is, "How deep are your "financial pockets", to fund (fancy way of saying "pay for lawyers"). When the local governmental offices bring the full force and authority to bear upon this issue, i.e. the local sheriff issues what ever orders a court directs them to follow. The first one might be the local health department for the sewage. Followed closely by the county/state/federal EPA looking into any violations of their "many" clean water/air rules. Oh, they will usually bring a lot of "friends" to the show, like the local forestry, wildlife, department of natural resources people if a violation is "near" their domain.
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:08 AM   #8
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The naive say it is about protection, and perhaps they have an ostensible point. A small part is about protection. The lion's share is about control and revenue efficiency. Where I live, it is against the law to build a house under one thousand square feet, yet many established lots are only 50 ft wide with 10 ft easements.
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:35 AM   #9
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Floyd, Nothing to do about RV full timing or the tiny house issue...but...your illustration...50 ft wide, minus 10ft each side for easements leaves 30ft for structures width...plenty of space to comply with minimum square footage required for building.
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
Floyd, Nothing to do about RV full timing or the tiny house issue...but...your illustration...50 ft wide, minus 10ft each side for easements leaves 30ft for structures width...plenty of space to comply with minimum square footage required for building.
You are right of course, while still solidly making my point! Thanks
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:12 PM   #11
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The answer is Slab City.

No rent, no taxes, no law enforcement, no codes to adhear to, Park anywhere there is room, no easements, no 10 foot or square foot requirements, clothes optional, mud hole for a bath tub.
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
The naive say it is about protection, and perhaps they have an ostensible point. A small part is about protection. The lion's share is about control and revenue efficiency. Where I live, it is against the law to build a house under one thousand square feet, yet many established lots are only 50 ft wide with 10 ft easements.
Floyd you and I are going to disagree on the above.

I sit on a totally volunteer board locally for a very large district. We are a means for property owners to ask for a relaxation of zoning/by law restrictions. Property owners have a choose, they can ask the local government council for the relaxation or ask the volunteer board that comprises of local home owners with a professional background in building (i.e. architects, retired building inspectors, contractors etc ) or the development of community zoning plans. The cost of applying to the volunteer board is a less costly and a faster process. As a result far more applications are heard by the volunteer board than by the local government.

Here we have in place Neighbourhood building zonings that were developed by the owners of the properties within each neighbourhood themselves. These zoning bylaws went into place LONG after many of these old neighbourhoods where built. Having sat through long meetings with local residents and heard their concerns, I can assure you that the majority where wanting changes to the building bylaws to protect their property values. Took most of the neighbourhoods a couple of years of meetings and debates between property owners in each neighbourhood to come up with bylaws pertaining to building sizes, set backs, heights, sheds, fences etc that the majority of the home owners could/would agreed to. This approach was not something the local government came up with but was instead pushed forward by property owners as many of the neighbourhoods were starting to see older homes taken down and new monster homes going up and they did not like to see such big changes in their neighbourhoods.

What might surprise many is the majority of the applications for building variances are for buildings that were built without permits and do not comply with set backs or size restrictions. AND here is the kicker it was not the local government staff who found or reported the issue, it was a neighbour.

We have a bit of a laugh when people suggests that the By laws officers drive around looking for issues to ticket people for. Trust me they do not! There are actually only a few by laws officers in this area and they can not keep up with daily complaints from neighbours. Lots of people get away with things that are not permitted for years - as long as a neighbour does not complain. The reason there are so few Bylaw officers is that the cost of permits and licence etc does not come close to covering the salary of those staff members. Or at least that is the case in this area. Why pay for staff to go out looking for issues when you have so many residents willing to do the job for free

As far as protection goes I would suggest it is in fact all about protecting not just your property values but also your neighbours. Not just about the current owners protection but that of a future buyer of the home as well. Nothing will take a persons property value down fast than a neighbours messy yard are falling down building.

If you had seen the building quality or wiring jobs on some of the DIU jobs done that I have seen on my time on the Board, I suspect you would also agree that building codes & the need for inspection are indeed all about protection - if nothing more than to protect the future owner of the home - who can not see what is behind those walls. Yes there are cases were inspectors have missed problems on a building job but I am going to suggest its not the norm... like every job people sometimes mess up.

BTW a 50' lot is a very common lot size in cities and many a livable and nice looking home has been built on them even when a 10' easement is required.
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:55 PM   #13
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Floyd you and I are going to disagree on the above.

I sit on a totally volunteer board locally for a very large district. We are a means for property owners to ask for a relaxation of zoning/by law restrictions. Property owners have a choose, they can ask the local government council for the relaxation or ask the volunteer board that comprises of local home owners with a professional background in building (i.e. architects, retired building inspectors, contractors etc ) or the development of community zoning plans. The cost of applying to the volunteer board is a less costly and a faster process. As a result far more applications are heard by the volunteer board than by the local government.

Here we have in place Neighbourhood building zonings that were developed by the owners of the properties within each neighbourhood themselves. These zoning bylaws went into place LONG after many of these old neighbourhoods where built. Having sat through long meetings with local residents and heard their concerns, I can assure you that the majority where wanting changes to the building bylaws to protect their property values. Took most of the neighbourhoods a couple of years of meetings and debates between property owners in each neighbourhood to come up with bylaws pertaining to building sizes, set backs, heights, sheds, fences etc that the majority of the home owners could/would agreed to. This approach was not something the local government came up with but was instead pushed forward by property owners as many of the neighbourhoods were starting to see older homes taken down and new monster homes going up and they did not like to see such big changes in their neighbourhoods.

What might surprise many is the majority of the applications for building variances are for buildings that were built without permits and do not comply with set backs or size restrictions. AND here is the kicker it was not the local government staff who found or reported the issue, it was a neighbour.

We have a bit of a laugh when people suggests that the By laws officers drive around looking for issues to ticket people for. Trust me they do not! There are actually only a few by laws officers in this area and they can not keep up with daily complaints from neighbours. Lots of people get away with things that are not permitted for years - as long as a neighbour does not complain. The reason there are so few Bylaw officers is that the cost of permits and licence etc does not come close to covering the salary of those staff members. Or at least that is the case in this area. Why pay for staff to go out looking for issues when you have so many residents willing to do the job for free

As far as protection goes I would suggest it is in fact all about protecting not just your property values but also your neighbours. Not just about the current owners protection but that of a future buyer of the home as well. Nothing will take a persons property value down fast than a neighbours messy yard are falling down building.

If you had seen the building quality or wiring jobs on some of the DIU jobs done that I have seen on my time on the Board, I suspect you would also agree that building codes & the need for inspection are indeed all about protection - if nothing more than to protect the future owner of the home - who can not see what is behind those walls. Yes there are cases were inspectors have missed problems on a building job but I am going to suggest its not the norm... like every job people sometimes mess up.

BTW a 50' lot is a very common lot size in cities and many a livable and nice looking home has been built on them even when a 10' easement is required.
The point on which we disagree appears to be whether it is primarily protection or control and revenue efficiency.
There may be a clue in your prolific use of the word "ask", which actually only supports my point. Also in the text of your sixth paragraph.

In what way could asking for relaxation of the law be anything other than favoritism? The implication is that the law is too strict to begin with, at least for those granted favors.

I assume I should be touched by the magnanimous way in which this favoritism is administered to the benefit of all (except those who must be bound by the law of course)?

As for that last sentence,I cited it because it was common, the rest is subjective and also supports my point.

I have not argued the necessity of zoning or even the degree of it,but rather the motive on which we apparently must disagree.
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Old 04-10-2016, 01:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
The answer is Slab City.

No rent, no taxes, no law enforcement, no codes to adhear to, Park anywhere there is room, no easements, no 10 foot or square foot requirements, clothes optional, mud hole for a bath tub.
Slab City -- yee-esss...you make good points, but aren't you then at the bottom of the Salton Sea?

Myself, I'd worry all the time about an earthquake in the Sierra Nevada range and the onrush of the Pacific Ocean!

But as you say, no property taxes!

(And at the rate ours are climbing, we may end up at Slab City ourselves, eventually! Will bring a quick-inflatable rowboat and water wings!)
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