Tiny home owner in legal stoush over building classification of his caravan

The owner of a tiny home in rural North Canterbury is taking a Government department to court to highlight a legal anomaly that could affect fellow small place dwellers.

Alan Dall, who moved to New Zealand from Scotland 14 years ago,, lives off the grid, generating his own solar and wind power. He has lived in tiny homes for the last 25 years with no problems - until now.

Dall bought a section at Amberley Beach four years ago and lived there in a motorhome with no concerns from his local authority, the Hurunui District Council.

Nearly two years ago, he swapped the motorhome for a purpose-built caravan he constructed himself. He started with the chassis, then built the caravan on top. The structure measures 8.1 metres by 3.1m and 4.2m.

The home is not connected to any services, can be towed away with 30 minutes notice, and is registered and warranted as a vehicle. Dall said it had travelled up to 40 kilometres on the road with no problems.

According to authorities it is a building though, despite the structure being on wheels and not fixed to the ground or any other foundation.

Following a complaint from a neighbour, the council issued Dall a notice to fix in September 2018, ordering him to remove or demolish the home, or apply for a certificate of acceptance.

"The consents officer, district planning officer and building inspector came out to have a look. They checked where it was on the section and it was all within regulations ... but then they started saying 'the stairs are too steep', 'it's too low' and 'I don't like that fireplace'," he said.

Read the full article on stuff.co.nz here

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