Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction and in Real Estate that’s definitely the case! Some states honor out-of-date laws by tradition, while others dutifully enforce odd rules created by the community. This results in some truly bizarre restrictions and obligations that may affect the sale or purchase of your home. We’ve collected the most bizarre laws and rules in Real Estate that you may need to know one day, especially if you are moving to another state.
Tall Fences Prohibited
If you love having privacy in your own backyard closed in by towering fences, Rhode Island is not the place for you. It is prohibited to have a fence taller than six feet. Anything higher is considered a “spite fence” and you will be required to lower them. Failure to do so is against the law and may result in conflict with your nosey neighbor.
No Alligators in Your Bathroom
Not sure what the story is behind this law, but if you live in Arkansas, you better not get caught raising alligators in your bathroom. Tubs are strictly off limits to this reptile and is in place to protect the survival of the species.
Mythical Creatures Protected by the Government (Yes, there’s more than one!)
Alligators aren’t the only aquatic creatures under the protection of the government in Arkansas. A light grey creature called “Whitey” that supposedly lives in the Arkansas River is protected by the White River Monster Refuge bill, passed in 1973. Roughly the size of a freight car, the monster is protected against harm if it is found in the refuge boundary between Old Grand Glaize and Rosie point along the Arkansas River.
Bigfoot is also under a protective law. Categorized as an endangered species, this creature is protected by the Canadian Species at Risk Act alongside the Whooping Crane and Blue Whale. If you kill a Bigfoot in Canada, you will be faced with a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
Cheaper Rent for Vegetarians
If you don’t eat meat, you’re in luck! Just this past year, a landlord in Washington offered a $200 per month discount to tenants who vowed not to eat meat. Comparing it to no-smoking policies, the landlord enforced this discount in order to provide more money to his tenants for organic tofu.
Are you about to purchase a haunted house? You have the right to know! The Stambovsky v. Ackley ruling enforced that anything that could potentially lower the value of a home should be disclosed to the buyer, including poltergeists. 169 A.D.2d 254, 572 N.Y.S.2d 672 presents the argument that the plaintiff in the case moved to a new neighborhood and was not informed by the buyer or real estate firm that the property was haunted. Therefore, the buyer was legally able to terminate the contract. This case is also known as the “Ghostbuster Case.”
Lower those fences, return the alligators to the river and leave Big Foot alone! After all, it’s important to do your research and ask plenty of questions before purchasing a home or moving to a new area. The Heckenkemper Real Estate team is here to guide you through the home buying and selling process, no matter how bizarre it may be!
To read more about these fascinatingly weird laws, check out these links:
10 Weird Real Estate Laws in the USA:
5 Creatures That May Not Exist, But Get Government Protection Anyway:
For vegans and vegetarians, rent is $200 less:
Stambovsky v. Ackley: