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Home Forums General Discussion The legalities. Opinions wanted.

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    I understand that one could live.. err.. “stay” in a storage building to protect ones belongings.. Just sayin’.. ;)


    We are living in a small cabin (we prefer calling it the sky castle) on our property in far west Texas, we built it ourselves and live completely off grid, we aren’t hiding anything from anyone, though we tend to be on the private side. The tax man has been here, measured the place and we pay taxes on it, so the county is aware that there is a structure for living here. The only other things that require any sort of official inspections is if you have a septic or well, we have neither so no one bothers us.

    We live in an unincorporated area, not likely to be incorporated either. There are developments nearby that have more “rules” for building and such, but those rules are imposed by the developments themselves, not by the state or county. The trick is finding property, that is far from civilization, far enough to not have major rules, you just have to go to tax office and any code enforcement agency in the area, find out what you have to do and what you cannot do, if it’s more than you can deal with, then find a different area.

    Look around and see what other people have done on their land in the area you want to be, if there are shacks, older mobile homes, travel trailers and such, then you are more likely to be able to build what you want. I hate to say it, but the trashier the area looks, the more lax code enforcement tends to be. The most important thing to do FIRST is ask questions, you are right that you don’t want to have something built only to find out it doesn’t meet the local requirements.




    EDIT: This is for the people whom have purchased premade or built their own small cabin type home.

    After furiously running through code enforcements all over and on some choice areas I have learned there must be a loophole people are using in these areas as I know there are off-the-gridders in them.

    Are you claiming your residence a “shed” on your paper land paperwork? Are you just not claiming anything and remaining silent? I know in alot of areas unless you basically 98% remove yourself from humanity out in the middle of nowhere that takes hours to get to a store this can be a big problem.

    This will be a situation I will be facing in the near future as I get closer to securing me a small plot somewhere and attempting to call it home. I do not want to complete my project all to have some pencil pushing code-enforcement person show up telling me I need to leave. I will save the anecdotal story as you im sure you get the point.

    Anyways, please speak up if you are ACTUALLY doing this or have ACTUALLY done this. Thanks! :)


    Different states have different laws… I believe Missouri has none for people who exist outside of city-limits. I know texas is very lenient as well but other states are extremely bossy when it comes to zoning, taxes, and what you do on your private land. Learn the states laws and policy before buying the land.


    In Arkansas we also have no codes outside city limits. However contractors might still feel the need to follow State and Regional and National and International codes. However having said that, septic is still regulated by the county health department and the state health department. In some counties there is an exemption if over 10 acres. Though you are still technically under state health department jurisdiction for septic. Though you need to remember with construction or anything that it better never fall in on anyone or otherwise hurt anyone. Law suits may ensue.

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