House Hacking with Mother in Law Suite?

4 Replies

Good evening and happy new years eve! I recently purchased my first property and I plan on house hacking by renting out the mother in law suite in the lower level of the property. The property is zoned as a single family home so technically it is only one unit. I am wondering if renting out the mother in law suite would require me to obtain a rental license? I am essentially renting it out as a spare bedroom (tenant will have keys to the upper level of the house as well/will have access to the whole property). The property is located in North Saint Paul, MN for reference. I am assuming that I will not need a rental license in this scenario, but I want to make sure I am doing everything correctly. Thank you all! Wishing everyone the best as we head into 2021!

I've never heard of anyone needing a rental license before unless they were operating as a short-term rental on a platform like AirBnb or VRBO and their city/county requires them to be licensed for vacation rentals.

For a traditional rental I'm not aware of nor do I see any reason why it would be an issue. 

Renting out a mother-in-law suite is something that is commonly done here in my market. 

@Cody Pauly Cody, I also have a home with a separate living unit that is zoned as a SFH. Since it is zoned as a SFH it is no different than renting a room of your own home out.

I hope this helps, and Happy New Year.

@Cody Pauly small world! I am in North Saint Paul and have been doing the same for the past 7 months since I finished my basement into a mother in law suite back in June 2020.

I called the city and they informed me that since it was a single family home and not technically a duplex (which it sounds like it's the same for you with the tenant having access to the whole house), that I would not need a rental license. We did put a door in between the units, so technically it's locked and they can't come up into my space - but because it's a door and not a wall, they're not "separate" units. Their primary concerns were whether or not I would have enough parking space to be able to keep cars off the road in the winter. That is a non-issue for us.