Can I live in a caravan on agricultural land?

In this article, we will clarify the following question: Can I live in a caravan on agricultural land? We will explain what the law has to say regarding living in a caravan on agricultural land and how to make it possible. 

Can I live in a caravan on agricultural land?

If you want to live in a caravan on agricultural land, you will need to request planning permission from the city council and your request may be accepted or rejected, depending on a number of circumstances.

The agricultural areas of the local urban plans are sectors of the municipality, equipped or not, to be protected because of the agronomic, biological or economic potential of the land.

Under these conditions and subject to the specific authorizations and prohibitions provided for in the regulations of the local urban plan relating to this zone, it is, in principle, not possible to authorize the installation of a caravan.

The town planning code specifies the places where leisure mobile homes and caravans can be installed:

  • residential leisure parks,
  • classified campsites,
  • holiday villages classified as light accommodation,
  • by local authority decision, in any other land in order to allow the temporary rehousing of people who are victims of a natural or technological disaster.

Are there exceptions for building and living on agricultural land?

The law states that individuals cannot build a house or install a leisure mobile home on agricultural land. However, the law provides an exception to this rule for farmers, as well as for all people who can justify a forestry or pastoral activity. This does not need to be the sole or main activity of future owners, it can be a secondary activity. But it must exist, and be demonstrable.

The important rule is that the owner, or future occupant in the event of rental, uses the residence in connection with the agricultural or forestry activity of the land, even if it is carried out part-time in addition to another profession. It is, therefore, necessary to prove the need to establish a home on-site …

How to apply for a building permit at the town hall?

Even before applying for a building permit authorization from the town hall, it is better to seek an opinion from the departmental committee for the preservation of natural, agricultural and forest areas. If the opinion is favourable, this body will also specify the precise sector where construction can take place.

This step is not mandatory, but it greatly facilitates the procedures with the town hall afterwards! Then, when submitting the building permit application, consider choosing a location for your home located within 100 meters of existing buildings, if possible.

A choice that will greatly improve your chances! If the town hall refuses, legal action is possible.

Transferring of agricultural land to residential

If you want to change the purpose of agricultural land (which leaves limited construction possibilities) and upgrade it to make it suitable for building land, you can request its downgrading.

Transferring agricultural land to residential is a crucial issue that is managed by the municipality. It may decide to change the categorization of certain parcels of land, taking into account the city’s architectural plan and the main directions taken in terms of the protection of natural, agricultural and wooded areas and efforts to limit urban sprawl.

For this, you must get closer to the town hall of your municipality. Make your request. If the mayor considers your request admissible in view of the arguments presented, then he will have to request an assent from the departmental commission for the consumption of agricultural spaces.

The downgrading request must be drafted with as much information as possible. Include in your document the cadastral references of the land concerned and justify your request. To make agricultural land constructible, you can use several arguments:

  • The plot affected by the request is too small for agricultural activity.
  • You have a home nearby, on land which adjoins the land concerned, and which justifies the extension of the building area.
  • Access to the roads as well as connections to the Drinking Water Supply and electricity networks are nearby. This viability at the edge of the land can facilitate the transfer.

Can you buy a piece of land and live in a caravan in the US?

In the US, you can buy a piece of land and live in a caravan or RV, but you must make sure you follow certain essential rules if you don’t want to find yourself with an eviction note. 

Thus, parking and living in a caravan on your own piece of land is not illegal, but you must follow these rules:

  • There must be a septic tank or access to city sewage on the private land;
  • You cannot have 110-120V electrical cables;
  • Depending on the caravan size, there is a limitation on how many people can reside in the same vehicle.

Our recommendation is you buy a piece of land in the country if you want to live full time in a caravan. If the land is not considered a residential area or part of a suburb, you are entitled to live freely on it.

Mobile homes account for 6.4% of the housing sector in the US. There are about eight and a half million of them, slightly less than in the past decade, according to census data. The number of inhabitants is not registered but is estimated at around 20 million.

According to the Prefabricated House Institute, about 57% of the heads of families who live in this type of housing are employed full time, while 23% are retired. But the income of these families is only slightly above half the national average.

The bottom line

Our final advice is to speak with someone from your local council. There are rules and exceptions to the rules. It is best to ask directly what are the laws in your state, and whether you can reside for more than 30 days in the same place and what are the conditions and the exceptions to the rule.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Can I live in a caravan on agricultural land?

Can I live in a caravan on my land?

You can live in a caravan on your land, but there are a few rules to follow. Caravans and motorhomes can remain on the grounds of a primary residence, but only between uses. They must in no case lose their mobile nature, otherwise, they will be considered as a fixed installation by the municipality.

Can I put a caravan in my garden?

You can install your caravan in your garden without authorization if you are not using it as a home or as an annexe to your home. The caravan must permanently retain its means of mobility (wheels, drawbar, etc.) in order to be able to leave its location at any time.

Can I put a trailer on my land?

To put a trailer on one’s land, the owner of a trailer must have the mayor’s parking authorization to install his trailer on his land. If the trailer is fixed, a building permit is required.

How to live on non-building land?

It is not allowed to live year-round on any non-building land. You can set up a tent or request authorization from the town hall for your caravan or mobile home.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!