Tiny homes are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s not only due to the appeal of a minimalist lifestyle but also because they are an affordable and environmental-friendly option for the housing shortage in some states.
Unfortunately, only a few U.S. states allow tiny houses, with New Hampshire being one of them.
Although New Hampshire does not ban tiny homes, the residents need to follow the International Building Code version 2015 for their tiny living. Additionally, the state is now passing a bill (HB 588) with specific rules and regulations for tiny houses and their dwellers.
Before deciding to move into a tiny house in New Hampshire, it’s important to know the state's specific rules and regulations on tiny dwellings. It will spare you unnecessary hassle, potential legal issues, and possible eviction from your tiny house.
This article will provide in-depth information about tiny living in New Hampshire, its rules, and regulations. You'll find out what counties allow tiny homes, where you can park them, and size and taxes details.
Let's jump in!
Tiny homes are legal in New Hampshire. No law bans tiny houses in the state. New Hampshire has been following version 2015 of the International Building Code, which does not consider tiny houses.
However, they amended the building code and included Appendix Q to cater to tiny houses in the state.
The good news is that the state is now in the process of passing House Bill 588, specifying building codes for tiny houses and allowing them in all residential areas. A similar bill was proposed in the state in 2020, but it was not approved. Hopefully, this time it is.
Some counties in New Hampshire are friendly to tiny homeowners and support tiny living, while others aren't. Each county also has building laws that you need to note when deciding where to live in a tiny home.
Grafton, Carroll, Coos, and Sullivan counties have no zoning ordinance. Having no zoning rules make it easier to live in a tiny house. Some specific cities are also accommodating to tiny homeowners. These cities include Concord and Manchester.
Concord and Manchester cities treat tiny houses as accessory dwelling units. Specifically, Manchester has a zoning ordinance that lets their residents create small and rentable apartments as detached dwelling units situated in a garage or carriage house.
Yes, you can permanently live in a tiny house in New Hampshire. However, tiny houses on wheels are considered recreational vehicles. So, tiny houses on wheels are not allowed for a year-round stay.
Some municipalities in New Hampshire consider tiny houses to be accessory dwelling units. Hence, the state has an accessory dwelling unit law to regulate this type of houses.
New Hampshire is following the 2015 version of the International Building Code (IBC) Appendix Q. Under this IBC version, all tiny homes shall have at least 400 square feet (37 m2) or less net floor area, excluding lofts.
Although New Hampshire follows the 2015 version of the IBC, there are no specific rules and regulations regarding tiny houses. The only provisions on tiny houses are the minimum floor requirement and the requisites for plumbing fixtures, sanitation sewer, and an approved water supply.
Amendments have been made to the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC), and the state now follows the 2015 IRC Appendix Q for tiny houses.
However, House Bill 588 outlines specific laws tailored for tiny homes. Hence, we will cover below the rules and regulations for a tiny house under the provisions of this bill.
Here are the rules for tiny homes with permanent structures according to the 2015 IRC Appendix Q for tiny houses:
Here are the rules for tiny homes with permanent structures according to House Bill 588:
Here are the rules for temporary tiny houses:
Tiny houses are the solution for the homelessness of residents in New Hampshire. Although there are transitional community projects in the state, there are no existing rules for transitional structures for tiny houses.
Building a tiny house is easier in counties with no zoning ordinance because there is less hassle and the risk of legal violations is lower when you start living in a tiny house.
For tiny houses considered accessory dwelling units, you build your tiny house in zoning districts where single-family dwellings are allowed. Just remember the laws and requirements for accessory dwelling units to avoid violations.
When purchasing a tiny house, especially the movable type, you may need to pay sales tax if the state collects it. Thankfully, New Hampshire is one of the states that do not impose a sales tax as long as you register the house.
If you have a tiny home on wheels, which is considered a recreational vehicle, you are exempted from property taxes if the mobile home has a width under 8 feet 6 inches. Your recreational vehicle must also have a valid vehicle registration and license plate.
However, in House Bill 588, tiny homes built on a chassis and used for habitation will be taxable as real estate but not otherwise be regarded as real property.
Suppose your tiny house is in on the land of another house. In that case, you will also be liable for property taxes on the tiny house according to RSA 72:7-a.
You can park your tiny home in a tiny home park community, a camping park or a recreational campground. You can join many tiny home park communities that offer amenities such as affordable parking, wastewater hookup, and separate electric meter, to name a few.
However, most tiny home park communities prohibit recreational vehicles because these belong in a campground for temporary living.
Parking your tiny house on your property is also allowed, but only in areas with no zoning ordinance. However, this setup is only ideal for temporary parking and not permanent stays.
There are tiny home communities in New Hampshire that you can join. Some communities are resorts suitable for a getaway, while others are communities where you can live full-time.
Either way, joining a tiny home community can help you connect with like-minded people and learn from each other to improve tiny living.
Tuxbury, Tiny House Village, is one tiny house community in South Hampton, New Hampshire. They have tiny houses ranging from 180 to 275 square feet. They have relaxing views and amenities that are perfect for relaxation and family vacations.
Another tiny home community is the Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm. This is an intentional living community with 29 households and a working farm. This community value sustainability, farming, and having fun living in tiny homes.
The tiny houses of Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm have tiny homes available to own or rent. With their shared amenities, common house, and greenhouse, you can connect with more people in your tiny living adventure.
Moving into a tiny house can be exhilarating, but also exhausting if you don’t do your research on the places that allow tiny houses and what rules you must abide when adopting a tiny licing lifestyle.
If you are looking to start your tiny living adventure in New Hampshire, we have extensively shared the rules and regulations in this state. The information above can better prepare you for your planned tiny lifestyle.
Visit Tiny House for more tips, guides, lifehacks, and other things you need to know about living in a tiny home.