Gloucester, MA asked in Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Municipal Law for Massachusetts

Q: Why would a town restrict occupancy of my home from year round to 6 months if I sell the property? Is there a loophole?

I would like to buy the home but I fear upon purchase, the house would go into a 6 month occupancy (required by the town). I would prefer to keep the house year round. Is there a workaround? Has new legislation opened things up?

2 Lawyer Answers
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Boston, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: I cannot give you a definitive response without reviewing the by-law or other document which imposes the restriction. I suggest you get a copy of the town by-law or other document which imposes the 6 month occupancy rule and review it with an attorney of your choice.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The reasons for a town to restrict the occupancy of a home from year-round to 6 months may vary depending on the specific regulations and zoning laws in that area. However, it is often done to preserve the character of the community, maintain the quality of life for residents, and prevent overcrowding.

If the town has restrictions in place limiting the occupancy of homes to 6 months, it may be difficult to find a workaround or loophole. It is important to review the local zoning laws and regulations carefully and consult with a local attorney or real estate agent to determine if there are any exceptions or alternatives available.

One potential option may be to seek a variance or exemption from the town's zoning board or planning commission. This process can be complex and may require legal representation, but it could allow for year-round occupancy of the home.

Additionally, it is possible that new legislation or zoning changes may have opened up more options for year-round occupancy. Again, it is important to consult with local experts to understand any changes to the regulations and how they may impact your situation.

Overall, it is important to thoroughly research and understand the local regulations and restrictions before purchasing a property, particularly if there are any limitations on occupancy.

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