Georgia Tiny House Laws

Tiny homes are legal in most of Georgia, but the rules and regulations for small houses vary from city to city.
Written by Payton Ternus
Tiny houses are legal in most of
, but you’ll have to navigate differing local laws and quickly-changing municipal ordinances. In order to meet building and safety standards, you’ll need to become fluent in the housing laws in your city and state. 
  • Georgia generally has relaxed laws regarding tiny homes
  • Local governments may have zoning ordinances tiny homes need to comply with in order to be legal
  • Tiny homes will usually still need to satisfy code requirements based on how they are constructed

Georgia doesn’t have a statewide tiny house law

Georgia hasn’t passed any statewide laws in response to the tiny house movement. You can expect tiny houses to be legal throughout the state, as long as they follow local code and aren’t explicitly barred. 
Regulations for tiny houses vary significantly across cities and are largely determined by local governments. For example, certain areas of
have strict rules on tiny houses, while there are several tiny home communities in the state of Georgia. 

Georgia cities that allow tiny houses

Since there is no statewide law regarding tiny houses in Georgia, they are generally allowed throughout the state. 
Most major cities in Georgia allow tiny houses, including:
The city of Calhoun, Georgia had a ban on tiny homes, but they were sued in 2021 for not allowing them. The lawsuit will challenge the ban on tiny homes on the grounds that it violates the Due Process Clause in the Georgia Constitution.

What kinds of tiny houses are permitted in Georgia?

According to the
Georgia Department of Community Affairs
, tiny homes are generally defined as single-family homes at or smaller than 400 square feet—lofts are not included. 
The department outlines four kinds of tiny homes:
  1. Manufactured (mobile) homes
  2. Recreational vehicles (RVs)
  3. Residential (modular) industrialized buildings
  4. Site-built dwellings
Keep in mind: The regulations for these four kinds of tiny houses can vary, but state building codes usually only apply to site-built dwellings and modular dwellings. Manufactured homes and RVs are regulated under HUD and DMV standards. 

What does a tiny house need to be up to Georgia building code?

Georgia building code includes certain tiny house regulations that owners must meet. 
To meet these standards, a tiny house has to have all of the following:
  • A minimum of 320 square feet of land
  • A minimum size of 120 square feet
  • At least one habitable room containing an openable window and a closet
  • Ceilings at least 6’8” tall
  • Rooms not meant for sleeping are at least 70 square feet
There are also basic requirements you’ll need to meet for carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, emergency exits, lighting, plumbing, and ventilation.
If you’re looking to own the smallest house available, you might be able to downsize even more by building an Efficiency Dwelling Unit (EDU). These extremely small homes must still have a living room 220 square feet or larger, and every additional resident beyond two needs to have an additional 100 square feet of space. 
The home must also have: 
  • A kitchen sink 
  • A separate closet
  • Cooking appliances
  • Refrigeration appliances
All kitchen appliances you have are required to have a “clear working space” of 30 inches or more—stacking hot plates and other devices won’t work out!

What about tiny houses on wheels?

Most places in Georgia also allow tiny houses on wheels (THOWs). 
The regulations for THOWs are different than the rules for other kinds of tiny houses:
  • Design: If you decide on a THOW, your new home will need to look like a traditional living space.
  • Interior space: The floor area is 400 square feet or less.
  • Licensing: RVs and other similar homes on wheels are licensed and regulated through the Georgia Department of Transportation and your local county vehicle licensing agency.
  • Living functions: THOWs are required to have basic facilities and spaces for sleeping, cooking, and maintaining personal hygiene.
  • Size: THOWs need to meet the codes specified by the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association.
  • Skirting: The bottom of your THOW must be skirted, including the wheels.
  • Towing: Since your THOW can’t move on its own, you will need to be able to tow it using a frame-towing hitch, fifth-wheel connection, or a bumper hitch.
Key Takeaway Tiny houses can be built on a foundation or on wheels (THOW), but each style must adhere to different regulations.

Where can I park my tiny house in Georgia?

If you live in Georgia, the answer will come from your local municipality’s zoning laws. The municipal codes and regulations will decide where you can build or park your new tiny house.
You might be able to park your tiny house in your backyard or at a friend’s if you don’t have the space. Georgia is also home to a few tiny house communities and RV parks—the major ones are located in Macon, Menlo, and Pine Mountain.

How to build a tiny house in Georgia

So you’ve decided to build your new tiny house, but you’ll need to follow this checklist to build in the Peach State:
  • Choose the type of tiny house you want. Do you want to go full cottagecore in your backyard, or do you want the convenience of a mobile THOW?
  • Read over local laws and regulations. Utilize the resources at your local library to learn the specific legal requirements for your tiny house.
  • Pick a building company. There are companies that specifically build tiny houses, and they are a great resource in understanding the legal requirements you have to follow!
  • Decide on a location. You might simply put your tiny house in a bigger backyard, or you may want to move somewhere with zoning codes that are easier to understand and comply with.
  • Shop around for homeowners insurance. Once your tiny house is finished, you’ll need a homeowners insurance policy. It’s not technically required by law, but a policy will cover your new tiny house from unforeseen perils.
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Yes, you will need a permit for a tiny house in Georgia. If you are planning on living in a tiny house, it needs to have a permit just like a traditional house. 
If you have a tiny house on wheels or an RV, you will likely need to follow HUD and possibly DMV guidelines.
The minimum size for a tiny house in Georgia will vary by city laws. You will need to check with your local requirements, but the Georgia Department of Housing approved the Tiny House Appendix “S” in 2017 stating the minimum habitable room size is 70 square feet.
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