Florida is known for many things, including its thriving tiny house community. Although it’s a very tiny house-friendly state, there are still regulations and ordinances to adhere to. Setting up your tiny house according to local regulations will ensure you’re on the right side of the law.
In Florida, you can put or park your tiny home in RV parks or tiny house communities. However, you must adhere to the local government’s zoning and building codes for tiny houses. You need to check with your local planning department before buying or purchasing a tiny house or buying land to build one.
Getting hold of local laws can be confusing. Thankfully, our guide will help you started on tiny house parking locations in Florida and other tiny house laws that will impact your parking location.
Regulations for Tiny Houses in Florida
Florida does not have a state-wide regulation regarding tiny houses. Instead, these laws and regulations for tiny homes are under the zoning and building ordinances in your local jurisdiction. This means counties and cities have varying laws and requirements on tiny houses.
Tiny house regulations in Florida depend on your type of tiny home, what you use it for, and where it is. Below are key considerations to remember when setting up your tiny house in Florida.
Type of tiny houses
Tiny houses come in two categories;
Tiny houses on wheels
Tiny houses of wheels(THOWs) usually qualify as recreational vehicles. Therefore, they need to comply with safety standards imposed on RVs. However, some municipalities, especially the more densely populated places, have more stringent laws on whether you can live in a tiny home on wheels full time.
RV parks in the state are best suited for these tiny mobile homes. But you may be required to put the home on a foundation if you stay for an extended time. For instance, Sarasota County has strict laws on mobile tiny homes and RVs. You’re required to relocate after 45 days. Otherwise, tiny houses that park in RV parks for more than 45 days require a foundation.
Another rule for tiny homes on wheels is you should register yours with the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles and get a license plate. A tiny house on wheels parked in your backyard will also be considered a recreational vehicle. Therefore, it must comply with safety standards for RVs.
Additionally, THOW should meet standards the American National Standards Institute sets, such as plumbing, heating, and electrical work. THOWs with more than 400 square footage should meet Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety standards and hold a United States Department of Housing and Urban Development label.
Permanent tiny houses
Permanent tiny homes are built on foundations and are typically subject to all local building codes and inspections. A tiny house can also be an accessory dwelling unit(ADU). This is an additional unit on an existing single-family residence where people live. And since ADUs have foundations, they also comply with strict housing and zoning regulations.
Adhering to zoning codes is very important. Zoning codes will let you know which district your property is in and instructs you on what uses the local government allows in each district. The zoning code will also contain development standards and minimum lot size requirements. For example, in St. Petersburg, you can install an ADU on the same lot as a standard home if the lot size is at least 5,800 square feet.
Many cities in Florida allow you to live in a tiny home temporarily but not permanently. Therefore, you’ll have even more parking or placement options if you want a temporary residence. In addition, tiny houses make great vacation homes.
We recommend researching before permanently putting up a tiny house on your land to ensure you don’t face any legal consequences. Ensure you have all the required land-use permits.
According to the International Code Council, a tiny house has to be 400 square feet or less, excluding lofts. However, this definition may vary depending on the locality. Florida has very specific laws on how small a tiny home can be. Most local areas set square footage restrictions, often for tiny houses on a foundation.
For instance, your tiny home’s floor plan in St. Petersburg should be between 375 and 750 square feet. Orange County also has similar requirements with a minimum of 400 square feet. Franklin County requires a minimum of 1,000 square feet.
On the other hand, some counties don’t have minimum square footage requirements such as;
- City of Longwood
- City of Oviedo
- City of Casselberry in Seminole County.
- Winter Park and Orlando cities in orange county
The counties in Florida with the least house size requirement include:
- Dixie County (450 square feet)
- St. Petersburg (375 square feet)
- Pasco County (450 square feet)
Tiny house parking locations
There are two main parking options for tiny houses in Florida:
Tiny house community
Tiny house communities are intentionally built for people who want to live in tiny houses full-time. However, due to the growing demand for tiny houses and the scarcity of parking spots, some groups and individuals set up areas where people rent a lot and legally park their tiny houses for long-term or short-term stays.
You will have access to necessities such as connection to water, sewer, and electricity. In addition, other luxury tiny house communities offer theme park services such as fishing, float boat adventures, etc., excellent for vacations.
Popular tiny house communities for tiny houses on wheels in Florida include:
- Circle Pond Tiny Community
- The Outpost luxury RV resort park and community
- Gracious tiny house park
- Braveheart Properties
- Orlando Lakefront Park
RV parks and resorts
RV parks or resorts are places where traveling RV owners can park their vehicles and stay temporarily for their vacation. Most RV parks in Florida accommodate tiny houses. However, some RV parks do not allow permanent parking for tiny homes for more than three months. So it’s important to check with the specific RV park officials.
A few popular RV parks in Florida are:
- Christmas RV Park in Orange County
- Lost Lake RV Park in Apopka
Towns that allow tiny houses
Some towns are more friendly to tiny house communities than others. The following are counties in Florida that allow tiny houses:
However, each of these counties has rules and regulations that you must abide by depending on the type of tiny home, purpose of use, size, and parking location. So always check with their local planning offices to ensure your tiny house is legal.
In Florida, getting land to build a tiny home as the primary residence may be difficult. This is because different land use is subject to different rules. In addition, your tiny house has to comply with Florida safety standards depending on the purpose of the tiny house.
For instance, if you want a tiny house for something with lower regulatory standards, such as an art studio and later use it for residential purposes, then you’ll need to apply for a change of use with your municipal planning government. A land official will inspect the tiny house to ensure it meets the criteria for residential use.
Check this too: Where Can I Park My Tiny Home in Arizona?
Do you want to build a tiny house for a full-time residence or seasonal stay? Whatever you choose will affect where you put your home, how you use it, and knowing which zone fits you best. But first, you must check with your local office and a land attorney to confirm zoning and land use regulations and approval to build a tiny house on your land.
Note: This is a summary of the basic regulations for tiny houses in Florida. To fully understand how zoning regulations and building codes affect your tiny house plans, consult your local planning department and a Florida land use attorney. Otherwise, you will face fines and a code enforcement charge if you don’t meet the necessary approvals for your tiny home
Hopefully, this article will help you with the rules you need to follow to get your tiny home in Florida. Most counties and cities in Florida are extremely accepting of tiny houses. However, your tiny house must comply with the local regulations on tiny houses. Therefore, when looking for where to place or park your tiny home, you must first check with the local office to ensure your tiny house is legal.