New Hampshire Tiny House Senate Bill 482

SENATE BILL 482 As Introduced On Jan. 8th, 2020

Written By Janet Thome

New Hampshire Bill 482 defines tiny houses and provides for the authority and requirements for municipal regulation.

AN ACT relative to building codes for tiny houses.

SPONSORS:Sen.FullerClark,Dist21;Sen.Sherman,Dist24;Sen.Kahn,Dist10;Rep.Testerman, Merr.2

COMMITTEE: Election Law and Municipal Affairs


In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

AN ACT Relative to building codes for tiny houses:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  New Subdivision; Tiny Houses.  Amend RSA 674 by inserting after section 73 the following new subdivision:

Tiny Houses

674:74  Definition.  As used in this subdivision, “tiny house” means a structure intended for year-round occupancy that meets the requirements of the state building code, as defined in RSA 155-A, and is of smaller square footage than may be normally permitted by local zoning requirements, and may include single-room structures, and which is built on either a permanent foundation or on a chassis that is suitable for registration for transport on public highways of the state.

674:75  General Requirements.

I.  All houses that meet the definition of “tiny house” in RSA 674:74 shall contain facilities for sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation.

II.  All municipal and state building codes for single-family dwelling units shall apply to tiny houses including, but not limited to, zoning, fire, safety, emergency vehicle access, attachments to electricity, plumbing, and public or private sewer systems, if required.  

674:76  Requirements for Tiny Houses on Wheels.  Any tiny house on wheels shall be mounted on a chassis that is licensed, registered with state and local governmental agencies, and inspected.  A tiny house on wheels shall also have a seal from a third party inspection company authorized to provide such certification for tiny homes or recreational vehicles, which indicates that the structure has successfully passed inspection at specific stages of construction for compliance with safety, structure, and energy efficiency standards.  Such seal shall be permanently affixed to the tiny house.  A local engineer shall certify the connection of the tiny house to the chassis.

674:77  Individual Tiny Houses.

I.  A municipality that adopts a zoning ordinance pursuant to the authority granted in this chapter shall allow tiny houses as a matter of right in all zoning districts that permit single-family dwellings and may allow in its discretion tiny houses in all other districts.

II.  If a municipality permits detached accessory dwelling units pursuant to RSA 674:73, it shall permit a single tiny house as a detached accessory dwelling unit.  Municipalities allowing tiny houses pursuant to this paragraph may require additional lot area if it has such a requirement for detached accessory dwelling units, and may require the tiny house meet the municipality’s zoning dimensional standards for detached accessory dwelling units if such standards exist.  A property may include either an accessory dwelling unit or a tiny house, but not both.

III.  A tiny house used for habitation shall be connected to both a public water system or a private well and to a public sewer system or a subsurface wastewater disposal system that has been approved by the department of environmental services.  Alternatively, a tiny house used for habitation may include self-contained drinking water and sanitary systems.  A self-contained wastewater system may not discharge any waste or liquid.

IV.(a)  If built on a chassis, a tiny house used for habitation shall be taxable as real estate, but shall not otherwise be regarded as real property.

(b)  If a tiny house is located on the land of another, the owner of the tiny house shall be liable for property taxes on the tiny house according to RSA 72:7-a unless exempted under RSA 72:7-d.

(c)  A tiny house may be deemed a unit of workforce housing for purposes of satisfying the municipality’s obligation under RSA 674:59 if the unit meets the criteria in RSA 674:58, IV for rental units.

(d)  When a tiny house on wheels is removed from a property, the owner of such a tiny house shall notify the municipality in order to remove the property tax liability.

674:78  Tiny House Parks.  Municipal zoning ordinances shall also make provision for locating tiny homes in group park settings of at least 4 units, in which no more than one of the units may be the park property owner.  Units shall be adequately spaced to allow for access by firefighting apparatus.  The overall lot size shall be at least 10,000 square feet, but if the park is not served by public water and sewer, then the park or units shall meet the minimum overall lot-size standards for a community system.  The property owner shall have the discretion to use either individual lots or a single lot and either individual or community wastewater and drinking systems.

Effective Dare:   This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

“It was great to work on a truly bipartisan bill. Senator Martha Fuller Clark fully supported the effort and was a great help in making sure our legislation got led. I originally thought it wasn’t necessary for such a bill because I wrongly thought it was already covered by rules on manufactured housing but soon found it was not. We listened to hours of testimony and put together a bill that will work for New Hampshire. I hope it sails through the Senate and House as a bill that will help Seniors as well as Millennials as a much-needed niche in New Hampshire housing.”

Dave Testerman

Representative for Hill and Franklin

Dave Testerman

New Hampshire Senate Bill 482

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