House hacking is a popular way for homeowners to generate rental income by renting out a portion of their primary residence. There are a lot of factors to consider as a rental property owner, and in the case of househacking, there are even more. Before you start house hacking in California, it's important to understand the zoning and land use restrictions that may apply to your property.
Zoning laws and land use regulations are local ordinances that govern how land can be used within a particular area. These laws dictate what types of buildings can be constructed, how much space can be used for different purposes, and other related factors. For example, some areas may be zoned exclusively for residential use, while others may be zoned for commercial or industrial use.
When it comes to house hacking, one of the primary concerns with zoning and land use restrictions is the number of unrelated people who can live in a single-family home. In many areas, zoning laws restrict the number of unrelated people who can live together in a single-family home. For example, in Camarillo, CA the city has an ordinance for single family homes that only allows for two rooms to be rented out in addition to members of the family living in the home. This can limit the financial benefits of house hacking in Camarillo, if you had originally intended on renting out more than two rooms.
Other areas in Ventura County have their own use restrictions. Because the laws and regulations regarding rental real estate can be complicated, we recommend reaching out to a professional resource to best understand your options, and to stay compliant throughout your rental journey.
If you are considering househacking in Moorpark, Ojai, or Westlake Village, we recommend even further research prior to making a commitment to purchase a property. Ordinances aren’t always clear on what’s allowed and not allowed. Therefore, much of this is up to the interpretation of the city staff. This isn’t always ideal for a house hacking investor, but be careful because the last thing you want to do is get into a legal fight over this. Your time and efforts are better served in expanding your portfolio of house hacks rather than on attorney fees fighting cities.
These restrictions are designed to prevent overcrowding and maintain the integrity of residential neighborhoods. Violating these laws can result in fines or even legal action, so it's important to understand the rules in your area before engaging in house hacking.
An additional issue to consider is the impact that house hacking may have on the surrounding community. For example, neighbors may be concerned about increased traffic, noise, or other disruptions that could result from having tenants in a single-family home. As a result, it's important to be respectful of your neighbors and work to minimize any potential disruptions. This is the best way to curate a positive experience for everyone who is involved or impacted.
If you are considering house hacking in California, we highly recommend scheduling a consultation with a real estate attorney who can help you navigate the zoning and land use restrictions in your area. An attorney can help you understand the rules and regulations that apply to your property, and can advise you on how to comply with these laws while still generating rental income.
Overall, zoning and land use restrictions can be a significant hurdle when it comes to house hacking in California. However, by understanding the rules and regulations in your area, and by working with a knowledgeable attorney and real estate professionals familiar with the strategy, you can minimize your risk of legal liability and ensure that your house hacking venture is successful.
If you are interested in learning more about house hacking, and how house hacking could benefit you in your unique situation, we invite you to join us at our first-ever house hacking event! Hosted in Ventura County, California, you will be joined by local experts. To learn more and register: https://www.meetup.com/house-hacking-co-op/events/292560072/