CT Laws On Converting Single Family Into Multi Family?

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Hey everyone! Does anyone have any knowledge or experience on CT laws about converting SF homes into 2-4 unit multi-family's? I'm looking to get into the multi-family rental business, and have some experience renovating homes. I'm hoping to be able to purchase a SF home and rezone the area to accommodate multiple families. Thanks!

you might have a chat with a local Architect.  typically single family and duplexes have different building requirements than 3+ plexes.  for example, duplexes may only require a 1-hour rated wall between the units, which is typically just an existing wall with drywall on both sides.  but 3+ plexes may have additional fire, ADA, parking, etc requirements.  Fair Housing rules kick in with 4+ plexes.  good luck!

@Dillon Jalbert Changing the zoning and getting a variance on a property can be very challenging in most towns in Connecticut and is very town/city dependent in terms of what you can and can’t do. 

Your best bet is to contact the specific town engineers, assessors office, or zoning office (could be any of those depending on the municipality) of the town a property is in and ask them if what you are looking to do is possible and what the process would be for doing so. 

Doing it this way will save you a lot of time so you are not looking into something that the town/city won’t allow anyway. 

This is a joint effort between the building department, zoning, and an architect / contractor or engineer.

You'll need to talk to the contractor first who will submit the plans to the Connecticut buildings department for approval.  Then the required permits can be pulled.

I heard from my property manager that it is getting increasingly difficult to convert SF to multi family.  He is currently in the process of selling one of his own multi (that was converted from SF).  The selling process has seen significant issues and delays due to previous permits.   Seems some permits (although submitted) but was not recorded properly by the city.   Apparently 1 department in Hartford thinks the building is SF and another department thinks it is Multi, and they don't want to talk with each other.  Basically he is screwed because some admin person did not do their job properly and he has no recourse.  He is someone who had done these conversion many times and still got stuck.  His has lost 2 buyers already due to delays.   

If you find a large single family in an area that is already zoned for 2 or 3 family homes, you might be able to do this fairly easily.  But if the house is in an area that is zoned for single family, you are going to have a very difficult time.  Not worth the effort and expense, and you have almost no chance of success.

The fact is, it's just not worth putting the time and money into areas that are low rent, which is mostly where you find multifamily zoning.   If you can find a lot or a tear down in a high rent area that is already zoned for multifamily, that's a better use of your resources.

You're probably better off to buy very run down multis and renovate them, or to build on vacant lots that are already zoned for multi.

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