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Author Topic: legal to live in backyard RV? (in L.A.?)  (Read 8820 times)

Gardener

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legal to live in backyard RV? (in L.A.?)
« on: February 06, 2010, 12:54:54 PM »
I've searched the web high and low, and can't find a clear answer to this question which it seems must have been asked by many before me.

Can you park an RV in your BACKyard and live in it?  Can I rent it out?  I live in the city of Los Angeles, so laws specific to LA would obviously be relevant to me here, but it would be interesting to hear what the laws are in various cities.

It would be especially great if someone could actually refer to an appropriate code/law!

Many thanks

glen54737

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Re: legal to live in backyard RV? (in L.A.?)
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2010, 07:25:50 PM »
I'm not sure about LA i would imagine that you can't. But that's a guess.
I know some cities that it's illegal to park an rv in the city.
It's also something different to live there yourself and to rent it out.
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Wendy

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Re: legal to live in backyard RV? (in L.A.?)
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2010, 07:30:14 PM »
Depends on how the area you're in is zoned. Renting out a second residence on the same property requires different zoning from single residential zoning. Best contact your local commissioners or try a real estate agent.
 
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Carl L

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Re: legal to live in backyard RV? (in L.A.?)
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2010, 08:23:13 PM »
I've searched the web high and low, and can't find a clear answer to this question which it seems must have been asked by many before me.

Can you park an RV in your BACKyard and live in it?  Can I rent it out?  I live in the city of Los Angeles, so laws specific to LA would obviously be relevant to me here, but it would be interesting to hear what the laws are in various cities.

If you live in a single occupancy zone (RE, RS, and R-1), the short answer is no. If the RV has cooking facilities and a kitchen sink, it will be considered a living unit.  You can have only one living unit on such a lot.  A family member can live in a detached structure as long as there is no kitchen.
 
If you are in a multiple zone (R-3, 4, 5) you could, but then you will run into a whole raft of building and safety and health code issues
 
I must warn you, this information is about 20 years out of date.  I retired in '96  8) 
 
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It would be especially great if someone could actually refer to an appropriate code/law!

Go to a city library and ask for a copy of the Los Angeles City Zoning Code.   OR go to this website http://zimas.lacity.org/ .   OR go to this one http://www.ladbs.org/Permits/permits.htm
 
OR simply go to the public counter of the nearest City Dept of Building and Safety listed here:
http://www.ladbs.org/about_us/csc.htm
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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Gardener

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Re: legal to live in backyard RV? (in L.A.?)
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2010, 10:34:16 PM »

If you live in a single occupancy zone (RE, RS, and R-1), the short answer is no. If the RV has cooking facilities and a kitchen sink, it will be considered a living unit.  You can have only one living unit on such a lot.  A family member can live in a detached structure as long as there is no kitchen.
 
If you are in a multiple zone (R-3, 4, 5) you could, but then you will run into a whole raft of building and safety and health code issues
 
I must warn you, this information is about 20 years out of date.  I retired in '96  8) 

It's zoned LARD1.5 and with the lot size could have one more dwelling unit, so I'd be okay on that front.  I looked at the Bldg&Safety links you sent, but they all seem to be referring to actually building a structure, not RVs...  so I'm not sure if I'm looking in the right place.

And according to my math, you haven't even been retired for 15 years - forget about 20!

Carl L

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Re: legal to live in backyard RV? (in L.A.?)
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2010, 11:20:01 PM »
It's zoned LARD1.5 and with the lot size could have one more dwelling unit, so I'd be okay on that front.

If you say so.
 
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I looked at the Bldg&Safety links you sent, but they all seem to be referring to actually building a structure, not RVs...  so I'm not sure if I'm looking in the right place.

They are the people who enforce what you can do with private property.  You are proposing to do something.  Check it out with them.

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And according to my math, you haven't even been retired for 15 years - forget about 20!
That was not an arithmetic problem.  I was a public works guy, not planning.   My knowledge was general
even then, no better than 5 - 10 years out of date at best.  That is why I gave you the web sites and suggested that you go and see what you can do.   They are the people who can give you chapter and verse.
 
 
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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Gardener

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Re: legal to live in backyard RV? (in L.A.?)
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2010, 11:50:12 PM »
I was hoping someone on here might know for sure whether it would be okay or not, since it seems like a few people in LA must have wondered this before me, and I'm certainly not eager to go to the department of building and safety...  especially after a particularly painful visit to the dept of motor vehicles last week.  But if nobody knows for sure, then I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and go.

Carl L

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Re: legal to live in backyard RV? (in L.A.?)
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2010, 12:00:44 AM »
There is nothing quite like the DMV, tho a cattle drive comes close.  The building dept. should be easier.   Go to one of the suburban offices if you can and find an info counter.  Tell them you are a homeowner with question.  Good luck.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

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RvFairyLady

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Re: legal to live in backyard RV? (in L.A.?)
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2010, 10:32:05 PM »
Every city has a city office and they know the local ordinances.

Where I live in Northern California is it illegal to rent it out.., but not illegal to live in it on your own.., and not illegal to let a relative stay so long as it's not "permanent."

I let a family stay in our RV after their house burnt down and they were going to need to be there for 2-3 months. I asked the city what is "permanent" and they said it was not defined.., but if the neighbors complained we'd get a two week notice. If no one complained than we wouldn't. So, my guests were lights out by 10 and kept very quiet.  :-X Our neighbors are nice and knew the circumstances anyway, it was never a problem.

But 'living in' and 'renting' are very different. People often stay in RVs while they are remolding or flipping a property.., that is very different than renting out a property. A single family residence (in most areas) is not to be turned into two lots.., which renting an RV would be. Same for adding an additonal building on your property.., you'd have to have permission and proper zoning.

That being said.., less than a mile away from me is considered out of city limits and the rules are all different there. Best bet is to check with the city office.
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Gardener

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Re: legal to live in backyard RV? (in L.A.?)
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2010, 11:56:32 PM »
Interesting.  Well the property is legally zoned to allow another unit, I'm just wondering how the RV is treated.  I guess I have to stop delaying and go by the Dept of B&S :-)