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Old 01-11-2015, 02:24 PM   #1
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Is it legal to live permanently on private property in town?

My partner and I are looking into purchasing an airstream to live in year round. We have some friends who own property within city limits (Bozeman Montana), who say we can park on their property. I'm wondering if this is legal/ are there taxes or fees they would need to pay to the city?

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Old 01-11-2015, 02:38 PM   #2
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It is in all likelihood a local issue. Whether you can or cannot would be up to the codes and ordinances of the city of Bozeman.

You can probably research this online.


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Old 01-11-2015, 02:43 PM   #3
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Hi Jaz... If you are in the City Limits... contact the city. Same if you would be staying on County. We pay annual tax on our Airstream in Colorado. Montana might be different if you do not pay personal property taxes on trailer plates each year. Just a little detective work.

Sometime it is best to wait for a letter to arrive in the mail, or a knock on your door. In our neighborhood the knock would come within 24 hours...

The true issue will be the Montana winter and full timing in Bozeman. The cost of propane and electric power for heat would probably shock you. An Airstream is an Ice Box on Wheels. Try spending a week in the trailer this winter and make sure you can maintain a comfortable life style.

Had you said living full time in the Southwest... you probably will do fine. Summers are hot, but I adapt faster to 105 degrees, than -15 to 25 degree days.

A 31 foot Airstream is a home on wheels. My experience has been they are great in warm day, cool evenings... but November to January... you will make my Boondocking camping seem tame.

Good luck. Try a week living with electricity, water and propane. Hopefully some one else full timing in cold weather can talk you OUT of it, or INTO it. Expect the furnace to run full time and your water lines will freeze up with your grey, black and fresh water tanks.

This could be the good news. Please let us know how it all worked out.
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Old 01-11-2015, 02:48 PM   #4
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Check with the City. Zoning regulations often do not allow for trailers to be occupied unless they are located on property zoned for that use (i.e. RV parks).
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:17 AM   #5
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Depends on the town. Some have ordinances against it unless it is in a trailer park. What they don't know won't hurt them or do it until you get caught-
Sometimes it id OK for visitors to stay a few nights in the driveway, but not to live there permanently.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:48 AM   #6
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I will be in a similar situation in the near future and have begun to look into this. The rules, and what you can get away with outside the rules, depends vastly on the area/region/municipalities. This is a highly discussed issue in the Tiny House movement, start your search there, as those folks have already done a bunch of research in this.
Go online and search for "Tiny house where to park" or even on Youtube, there is a bunch of info and tips out there.

Good luck!
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:14 PM   #7
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we just had a related issue where city code was met...but the sub-division restrictions we had overlooked/were ignorant of proved problematic. Although that may not apply where your friends live, its something to also look into before you settle in and making relative permanent hookups an improvements. jon
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:30 PM   #8
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It all depends on the local ordinances especially within the city limits, and if the property has a restrictive covenant which would be on the deed. (Property Owners Association, etc.) Check with the local code enforcement people. They might be of help.
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:27 PM   #9
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Can you see the neighbors or more importantly can they see you, most cities don't have enough manpower to check all things on the books, but if they are pointed out to them they will comply. Your friends said "park" not camp or setup semiperminent housing. They didn't say if utilities are already present, if they aren't you will have to pull permits to get them installed, so trying to do it without and waiting for a knock won't happen. Electric companies won't hookup with out approved hookup, can't hook into sewer system or water without pulled permits and professionals installing(sometimes exceptions for homeowner diy).
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:16 AM   #10
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An Airstream adds to the beauty of the landscape.
The Flamingo's are good for the eco system.
Run for office, and get it on the books.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:59 AM   #11
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Some may think it looks like a vagabond home.

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Old 01-14-2015, 05:29 AM   #12
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That would be a very nice state of Vagrancy. I wouldn't recommend putting the family car up on blocks, in full view anyways.
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:38 PM   #13
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"I wouldn't recommend putting the family car up on blocks, in full view anyways." Have you been to the Ozarks? It isn't unusual to see multiple vehicles up on blocks. Once in a while you see one up on something else, strange enough that you begin to wonder what the person was on when they put the vehicle in that position.
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:46 AM   #14
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I live in hill country. Some of the things you can see here are hilarious, bordering on crazy. Some of which could be eligible for the "Darwin Award" (ex, checking the gas tank with a lighter...) It reminds me of a joke, There was a hillbilly in a rowboat out in the middle of a pasture just a paddlin away. His buddy comes running up to the fence just absolutely furious and screams ' what in the world are you doing? You're gonna give us a bad name. The hillbilly in the boat started paddling faster to make a get away and is buddy yelled out, "If I could swim, I'd come out there and kick your butt." I love Arkansas.

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