What You Need to Know About Horizontal Property Regimes

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By Rochford Law Posted on February 28, 2021 at 3:07 PM

If you live in a developing city such as Nashville, TN, you’ve probably unknowingly seen various HPR home types as you’ve driven through your neighborhoods. Horizontal property regimes (HPRs) are an increasingly popular classification of property. The most typical and easily-spotted examples are lots that hold two new homes where there was previously a singular home.

If you’re looking to invest in a horizontal property regime, or you’re simply curious about the implications of these properties, we’ve compiled a list of your potential top questions. So what exactly are horizontal property regimes and will you need a HPR attorney?

Below are the top 5 questions you may need to know about Horizontal Property Regimes:

  1. What is HPR?
  2. What are the benefits of HPR?
  3. What are the challenges of HPR?
  4. How does HPR affect neighborhoods?
  5. How can a real estate HPR attorney help?


what is an hpr?

Horizontal property regimes are defined through a Tennessee statute which refers to properties with multiple owners. When dealing with multiple ownership, people tend to consider condo buildings. There are multiple areas of the condo building that are owned by different people. However, there are also common areas that allow a shared ownership.

Based off of a statute that dates back to 1963, the idea of a horizontal property regime encompasses much more than it did back then.

Nashville’s most popular version of HPRs are commonly referred to as “tall and skinnies” because of the unique construction of two homes built in the footprint of a singular previous home.


What are The Benefits of HPR?

In terms of the benefits related to a horizontal property regime, contractors and developers seem to fare very well. The main benefits to keep in mind is that HPRs avoid a lot of the red tape that comes with developing an area.

HPRs tend to avoid reviews and approvals from the Metro Planning Commission, as well as public hearings that can hold up development. With a HPR, a property only needs to have been previously zoned for a two-family structure (such as a duplex). A much quicker process, the developer will then be issued a building permit and will be required to file a master deed to create the HPR.

HPRs also benefit home buyers in that they create more housing in areas that might otherwise seem to be full. And if you’re located in a popular and growing market area, there is always a need for more housing.

Get a free consultation with Rochford Real Estate Law Title to work with an HPR attorney today.


What are the Challenges of HPR?

When thinking about horizontal property regimes, you may be wondering if there are any challenges to this type of lot sharing. In dealing with HPRs, questions of lot ownership can sometimes become tricky for the eventual homeowners on a shared lot. The question of who owns the dirt underneath the house can have major implications for tax liability and insurance.

Logistics can be difficult when constructing an HPR such as the placement of utilities. The constricted property lines also occasionally lead to encroachment by one party or another. Conflict resolution can be difficult in these situations where there are only two parties involved. However, while a large condominium complex may have a well-functioning homeowners’ association to deal with problems, a property with two buildings does not typically have the same luxury.

These challenges can often be settled with open lines of communication and trusted legal advice from a HPR attorney.


How Does HPR Affect Neighborhoods?

The various neighborhoods that have been impacted by these horizontal property regimes have had mixed reactions. Many of the homes chosen for the site of a future HPR are older homes that might not have been well-maintained. Most neighbors will appreciate the update to a previous eye sore, and these homes can often create a rise in property value as HPR properties are updated. However, this appreciation in value can be accompanied by a raise in property taxes as well.

The tendency to build more of these horizontal property regimes has shown great benefits for the city in increased tax revenue. This revenue also provides more capabilities to help the neighborhood from an institutional level.

Reminder for Nashville, Tennessee residents: The continued tendency for Nashville to attract new residents will continue to create a need for more housing. There is a finite amount of available properties in the Nashville area. Increasing the number of homes on these properties is a great way to accommodate the new residents that move into the area every day.


How Can a Real Estate HPR Attorney Help?

A real estate attorney can help with the development of a horizontal property regime in a few different ways. A HPR attorney can ensure that the master deed needed to create an HPR is fully reviewed and approved before it is recorded.

A real estate HPR attorney can help with any challenging scenarios that come up throughout the process of developing land. What do you do if you are contracted to purchase a property that ends up being too small for your plans? How do you work through zoning issues? Renegotiated contracts or terminating them altogether can occasionally be necessary, and a real estate attorney is going to be necessary to perform this service correctly.

If you’re in need of a real estate HPR attorney, contact Rochford Real Estate Law Title today! 

Topics: Nashville Real Estate, Nashville Real Estate Attorney, Real Estate, Real Estate Lawyer, Residential Real Estate