Can I rent out a single family home as a duplex?

5 Replies

My home has 3 bedrooms 2 baths in the main home, we also have an attached apartment on  the home.  The apartment is separated by a locked door, has it's own outside entrance, bedroom, bath, kitchen, etc.  We have used the apartment for some airbnb and some month to month renters, but are now thinking of doing long term renters in our entire home and moving.  

My question is, is this allowed? Can I rent my home out as a duplex, even if it's not technically a duplex? 

Hi @Lindsay Broome ,

Landlord laws vary from city to city. If the home is in Madison TN, do an online search "Madison Tennessee Landlord Laws" and if their site doesn't answer your questions, call the number and ask them about attaining a license for your intentions.

You have to use mother in law suite, accessory dwelling unit or similiar term and check your local regulations. Areas differ and as an owner occupant you have different rights.

Regardless of how you do it @Lindsay Broome , if the house is in your personal name, I suggest obtaining an Umbrella Insurance Policy to cover your personal assets. 

@Lindsay Broome - you can call your city planner and they will tell you everything that you need to know about the legality of renting them separately. As @Jay Helms said though, it makes sense to make sure you are covered insurance wise. We run a real estate business with a lot of airbnb-minded clients and the number one thing we tell people to be is super clear with their insurance on what is going on and the legality behind it, so that you know you are totally insured and some loophole won't come up at a later time. Good luck. 

@Lindsay Broome -  Like everyone has stated each city has different designations of what zoning can have duplexes and of what a duplex even is.  I had never thought about what is meant by a duplex - except that two different families/people could live separately in the same building/property.  However that is not the definition for zoning in Memphis.  You can have a separate living quarters and it not be technically a duplex; only it both have stoves can it be a true duplex (i.e. at some point a licensed electrician had to get a permit to install 220v for the stove).    Just something to think about.  (obviously, do it legally and fully insured).

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