A Comprehensive Guide To Tiny Home Regulations in Utah

Many people in Utah are embracing the minimalist lifestyle and downsizing to tiny houses in 2023. This trend became all the more popular after an astronomical rise in the average rent of even a basic two-bedroom apartment in Utah, amounting to around $1,200 per month.

However, tiny houses are illegal in many U.S. regions. This raises the obvious question of whether Utah is considered a tiny-house-friendly state. Before joining the Tiny House Movement, you should be aware of the laws and regulations governing Utah tiny houses. 

Here, we have curated a comprehensive guide on the tiny house laws in Utah which will help you make a learned choice about whether you should buy a tiny home in Utah or not. So, let’s dive right in! 


Are Tiny Homes Legal in Utah? 

Well, the short answer to the question is a resounding YES. However, it must be pointed out here that Utah has no state-wide rules, which acts as a roadblock to residing permanently in a tiny Utah house. For instance, there are some areas in Utah where you need to pay more if you want to use a tiny house on wheels as a permanent dwelling space. 

This happens because some municipalities in Utah consider a tiny house on wheels as an R.V. or a recreational vehicle. Utah’s regulations concerning the time period and places where R.V.s can be parked are quite stringent, resulting in exorbitant charges. And since Utah law considers tiny houses on wheels as recreational vehicles, these laws can also be accurately implemented for them. 

On the flip side, not all counties consider mobile tiny houses R.V.s. So, permanently living in such houses would be much easier in those counties and cities where tiny houses on wheels are considered permanent homes. 

Rules and Regulations Controlling Utah Tiny Houses 

Some counties and cities have unique rules that cater to tiny houses’ characteristics and preferred sizes. 

Rules Controlling Permanent Structures 

Tiny permanent houses, a.k.a tiny houses on foundation, is an expanded term for THOF. These are typically small homes having sturdy foundations. 

Tiny dwellings on foundations are not subject to such stringent regulations. So, if you want to downsize to compact living without much hitch, a tiny house on foundation in Utah might be the way to go. 

Here, you should note that these houses have a fixed foundation and are thus immovable. So, it’s impossible to tow your THOF on a truck and move elsewhere. 

A tiny house on a foundation, however, has to adhere to the criteria laid down by the IRC foundation, which are as follows: 

  • The foundation should be able to support all the loads and transfer them to the supporting soil. 
  • The lot should be graded to direct surface runoff to a storm sewer conveyance. 

Rules Controlling Temporary Tiny Houses 

Temporary tiny houses are living units with auxiliary housing. These tiny houses are primarily set up next to a traditional family house. 

Though they are referred to as tiny houses in most U.S. states, you can also name them additional dwelling units, abbreviated as ADUs, or granny cottages. 

More often than not, Utah zoning regulations forbid tiny houses except for ADUs or accessory dwelling units. For example, Salt Lake City rules allow tiny houses under 400 square feet to be set up beside an already-built traditional house on a residential property. However, the tiny house should be built on a foundation and comply with Utah’s minimum sanitary standards. 

One most popular type of accessory dwelling units are guest houses. Guest houses can prove to be a boon for those with extended families and young adults. 

Rules Controlling Transitional Structures 

Transitional structures are portable or ready-to-remove structures. They offer temporary housing solutions, thereby addressing the nagging issue of homelessness like none other. 

Here, you should note that transitional structures are not considered legitimate residences and, thus, must adhere to many stringent rules. However, the good news is that these strict rules are meant for the benefit of the house dwellers only. 

If you want to live in a temporary structure in Utah, you must comply with all the ordinances and local laws. You can obtain permits for your temporary tiny house from the local building department. This department is responsible for ensuring the structure complies with all safety standards. 

Can You Reside Permanently in a Utah Tiny House? 

Constructing a tiny house on a foundation in Utah rather than a tiny house on wheels is highly advisable. Now, this does not, in any way, mean that you are not allowed to set up a tiny house on wheels in Utah and travel with it. However, doing so will be a bit more daunting. 

You can reside permanently in a tiny Utah house. Tiny houses or modular homes that fall under the categorization of manufactured homes can serve as good permanent residences. However, the houses must ensure compliance with the construction codes and zoning laws under Utah’s jurisdiction. 

Tiny homes categorized as R.V.s or recreational vehicles are considered temporary residences. For more information, you can contact your local municipality in Utah, as several counties and cities have their own unique set of rules catering to the characteristics and preferred size of tiny houses.

Final Take: 

The local government plays a pivotal role in determining the laws governing Utah tiny houses, and thus vary greatly from one county to another. So, reviewing your preferred area’s building rules and zoning regulations becomes extremely important before setting up a tiny home in Utah. 

TinyHouseMe is the one-stop solution for all your tiny house requirements. Whether you are looking for a tiny house on a foundation or a tiny house on wheels in Utah, here you will find different exquisite models showcased, which are available at highly competitive rates. We would also help you connect directly with multiple trusted tiny house builders across Canada and the United States, making the entire process a breeze.