On February 4th, 2016 the state of California released a document meant to “clarify the legality of use, design and construction approval of any residential structure that may be commonly referred to as a tiny home.”
The Information Bulletin doesn’t change any existing law, but instead simply clarifies the existing law, making it easier for those interested in a tiny house in the state of California to know what is legal to occupy.
The document describes when a tiny home fits into one of four definitions–which are all legal to occupy. The basic classifications are recreational vehicles (including park trailers), manufactured homes, factory-built housing, or a site-constructed California Building Standards Code dwelling.
A tiny home sold, rented, leased or occupied within California may be legal if used on an approved location, complies with all applicable laws, and is either:
• Built on a chassis with axles; contains 400 square feet or less of gross floor area (excluding loft area space); is considered an RV, CC or PT; is not under HCD’s jurisdiction for the design and construction of the unit; and its construction and occupancy is enforced by local enforcement agencies with appropriate jurisdiction; or
• Not constructed on a chassis with axles; is placed on a foundation or otherwise permanently affixed to real property; and complies with CBSC or FBH standards; and may be enforced by local enforcement agencies having appropriate jurisdiction.
The document is only four pages long, easy to read, and is a huge help to anyone looking to buy, build, or live in a tiny house on wheels or on a foundation, in California.