The "In Law" Law Change in NH

2 Replies

Hello All,

I was wondering if anyone has thoughts/opinions on the new accessory dwelling unit law in New Hampshire (RSA 674:71 through RSA 674:73) and its implications on renting in NH? Specifically, the law includes provisions saying a town/city can not stop any accessory dwelling/in law suite already in a home (that was legally put into that home) from being rented as a separate unit, as of June of this year when the law takes effect.  Unless I am reading this wrong, it seems that any single family home with an in law suite automatically becomes a duplex from a landlord perspective (and I suppose fix and flippers may find it easier to create a duplex from a single family home).

I was wondering if anyone thought this is a "big deal" that changes how they would approach real estate investing in NH (making some single family homes a more logical financial investment?) or if they feel this would not come up very much.  I myself will be closing on my new home in NH soon, which has an "accessory dwelling" that I plan on renting, but have not decided if this is the type of thing to really look out for in future properties or more of a mild convenience.

See this link for the NH government site on the new law:  Just to clarify, I am no lawyer so I very well may be interpreting this law wrong in some way, shape, or form.

@Oliver Salmon - For some municipalities in NH there is a rule that the owner must occupy 1 of the residences which makes it a bit harder to acquire single family homes with ADUs in the same town over and over again (depending on the town). It seems that many towns have not decided on what their specific rules on accessory dwelling units will be and they are going to kind of decide as it comes up. I do feel like this could be an advantage in NH and have already taken advantage of it, buying a single family home in Dover NH with an ADU in February. The home we purchased was listed as a single family with ADU and is zoned R-12 (residential/light business use). When we went to get financing there was a bit of an issue because we wanted to put 5% down and purchase as a primary residence rather than the 20% down for a 2 family investment property. With a bit of paperwork filed to make sure it was legally an "ADU" with the town vs a duplex we got the property with 5% down. Along the way we learned that Dover does not monitor ADUs and their specific usage (although that could always change in the future.) Our plan is to live in the house for 1 year, fix it up and purchase another single family home with an ADU or ADU potential (finished walkout basement with bathroom, barn, etc) with only 5% down again, but we will probably do it in a different town like Somersworth or Rochester to avoid any issues. I do think the zoning of the home may make a difference if you choose to go that route and move out. If the house is zoned R-1 it might be an issue, but if it is zoned R-12, Rmu, R-2, etc I bet you can get away with more. I am interested on what others feel about this too. Good question!

Thanks @Megan Frank . I was not thinking about how towns could still require me to live in the property in order to use it as a functional duplex via their housing codes. I am curious to see what new housing codes towns will develop in response to this law (or if they will make new rules to help clarify at all).