Skip to main content

Tiny House Residents Evicted by Housing Regulations

Phil Hall
Apr 10, 2015

A Virginia couple that tried to circumvent the rising costs of homeownership by moving into a tiny house set up in their backyard has run into an unexpected web of bureaucratic thickets regarding whether their micro-sized residence constitutes the legal definition of housing.

According to a WRIC-TV report, Michael and Amy Lacey of Chesterfield, Va., purchased a custom-built tiny house measuring 8.5 feet by 21 feet for $25,000 out of pocket and erected it last fall in the backyard of their traditional home, which they rented out to a tenant. The Laceys quickly found that living mortgage-free in their new little residence helped cut their monthly bills from $1,400 to $300.

However, the County inspectors learned about the Laceys’ tiny house a few months later and informed them that they could not live in that structure. Because the local building codes have not been updated to accommodate tiny houses the Laceys’ XS-sized property needed to meet standards created years ago for traditional housing.

Complicating matters further was having the structure built on wheels: because the coupled titled their tiny house through the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, it is considered a recreational vehicle and local zoning ordinances prevent them from using it as their full-time residence or connecting to local utilities. And simply moving the tiny house elsewhere would then change its classification to being an industrialized building that needs to meet safety regulations from Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

At the moment, the Laceys are scrambling to find a rental to serve as temporary shelter. The county government is sympathetic, but acknowledges they are behind the times.

“Both the building code and the zoning ordinances probably have some catching up to do,” said Ron Clements, Chesterfield’s assistant director for building inspection, adding the Laceys’ dilemma is now being reviewed to update local ordinances.

Ocwen Financial To Acquire Reverse Mortgage Servicing Platform

Ocwen Financial Corporation's wholly-owned subsidiary, PHH Mortgage Corporation will acquire RMS' reverse mortgage servicing platform.

Industry News
Jun 18, 2021
UniteCT Emergency Rental Assistance Succeeds

Thanks to the successful launch of the UniteCT program, emergency rental assistance funds are helping Connecticut residents maintain housing.

Industry News
Jun 17, 2021
Angel Oak Mortgage Announces Initial Public Offering

Angel Oak Mortgage announced its initial public offering of 7,200,000 shares of its common stock at $19 per share.

Industry News
Jun 17, 2021
Mortgage Apps Rebound After Three Consecutive Weeks Of Declines

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported the first increase in mortgage applications after a three consecutive weeks on declines.

Industry News
Jun 17, 2021
CFPB New Rule Prevents Predatory Lending To Military Service Members

The CFPB stipulates its authority to examine supervised financial institutions for risk to active duty servicemembers and their dependents.

Industry News
Jun 16, 2021
Inventory Begins A Slow Recovery

Inventory grew 3.9% from April to May, according to Zillow's latest Market Report, after a year of steady decline.

Industry News
Jun 16, 2021