Are roommates in Wisconsin permitted in a single family zoned area?

The village where I live sent me a letter saying that by virtue of having a couple of roommates I am using my property as a two family house when it is zoned single family. There are shared areas such as the kitchen, deck and washer dryer utility room. What is your take on this?

Asked on June 16, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In an area zoned for single family residence only, regardless of how the home is physically divided or occupied, only individuals related by blood or marriage can co-reside, or at most an unmarried couple still functioning as a single "family" (e.g. two romantic partners and their respective children; the law recognizes that the definition of "family" has broadened). Unrelated, non-romantically involved individuals would violate single family zoning and be illegal.


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