In Law Suit vs. Multi- family

2 Replies


As  I feel like the market for multifamily in North NJ is so competitive that  my chance of getting a good one is so slow, I was told by my uncle to look in to in -law suit instead.  I have done some research and look likes in -law suits, is not quite the same as multifamily even one has separate entrances. I called the town on a house I'm interested in and was told that it would be illegal to rent out a level to strangers. Have anyone gone through the process of legalizing an in- law to a multifamily? Is it worth it? what kind of paperworks are involved and how much does it cost?

Thank you!

@Hoai T.   I would ask the question a different way to this city by asking under what circumstance could I rent out this level.  So for example can I rent it out to relatives or a family friend.  What is I separated the utilities of the unit?  If you give the impression you want to be as compliant as possible they will work with you.  For example, we wanted to build a two stall garage with an accessory building on a property close to a lake that my in laws could stay in when visiting separate from house as well as an office area away from our loud kids.  The city has a law that an accessory building in a residential neighborhood can not be occupied for overnight sleeping arrangements.  (exact wording I forget).  So I asked what would constitute overnight sleeping and it turned out as long as it did not have a kitchen it would not be considered a dwelling for overnight sleeping arrangements.  So we could get our office with a bath, and an area my in-laws can stay when we are out of town, and potentially rental income for somebody not looking to cook. 

Hi @Hoai T.

The ability for a mother-daughter unit to legalized as a separate unit is also dependents on the zoning of the property. For example, if a property is on a lot zoned for up to 2 family, and you wanted to convert the 3rd unit into a legal 3 family, you may also need to get the zoning changed or a variance, which would require board approvals from city planning. 

Some towns are more flexible then others. We have a property in Lyndhurst, NJ. I am almost for certain that they will not allow 3 families in the town, no properties are zoned for that. Which is also why most 3 family and up are so hard to find in Northern NJ!