"Triplex" with Non-Conforming 3rd Unit

8 Replies

Hey everyone! 

I found a property that is labelled as a triplex and zoned as a duplex, but has a non-conforming 3rd unit that the owner has been renting out.  My question to you is, how do these kinds of properties work?  I don't want to buy it as a triplex, then be unable to legally rent out the third unit.  

Do any of you have experience in this kind of situation?  


I've never been in this situation, but if it were me I would buy it as a duplex and pay accordingly. If you can make the 3rd unit conform (and only if it were vacant), great, otherwise just remove it or leave it vacant.

This is often a gray area, so more detail would be necessary.  Does the 3rd unit have the necessary, legal habitability requirements such as means of egress (e.g. ways to get out in the case of fire), adequate ventilation and meet other requirements?  How long has the 3rd unit been in use - is it possible that a variance has been issued and/or it could be grandfathered?

Hi Bruce,  have you looked into whether the the non-conforming unit can become conforming as an 'accessory dwelling unit'?   If the property is in Minneapolis,  you can sell to a triplex to an owner/occupant  in a SF/duplex R2B zone and it will conform under the 'accessory dwelling unit' law... or so I was told by Minneapolis zoning department.  Good luck!

Very familiar with all aspects of ADU😊 I don't live in that building I was referencing so that wasn't a consideration. currently working on an ADU project so it's an interesting process

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