The Skinny on Horizontal Property Regime
Love them or hate them, what do you really know about “tall skinny” houses, or a Horizontal Property Regime (HPR)?
Over the years, as Nashville has continued to grow, we have witnessed more and more single homes being torn down to make room for two separate new homes. In order to legally build two houses on one property, or a “subdivision”, there is usually a process of mapping out the properties and hiring a surveyor to petition the local zoning authority to allow the land to be subdivided which generally leads to a public hearing with neighbors. As you might imagine, things can get complicated.
An effective way to bypass the steps mentioned above, enter the horizontal property regime. A HPR is, essentially, an effective legal way to allow for the development of condos, or stacked units, and Tennessee state law offers a slightly different approach to HPRs because it is defined in a way that allows property owners to build two new houses on pieces of land that originally only had one house.
To establish a HPR, a good real estate lawyer strongly encouraged because the residents of the two respective structures will become joint-owners of the same property, and homeowners will be part of a single tax bill. Additionally, HPRs usually require the creation of a homeowner’s association for the purpose of keeping both owners accountable to an independent set of rules which will keep both the houses and surrounding land marketable.
Whoever buys an HPR owns only the house and the land beneath the house – the rest of the land is considered common area, and is to be maintained by the HOA. An HPR can be a great opportunity for investors because it allows for two transactions on one piece of land. As a prospective homeowner, an HPR can be a great property to purchase because it will likely be in an ideal urban location while including a bit of help from the HOA.
Of course, not everyone is sold on HPR properties. Interested in learning more about HPRs in Nashville? Give us a call 615.720.6926