Single-Family Rental Development Entitlement Tips from an Architect

The buzzword of real estate developers in 2022 is Single Family Rental or “SFR”.

Let’s start with the basics– just in case you aren’t familiar. What is the definition of “Single Family Rental?”

A single family rental is an individual, separate dwelling unit that is rented out to one family. This can include houses, apartments, condos, and townhomes. It is important to note that a single family rental is different from a multifamily rental, which is a rental property that contains multiple dwelling units that are rented out to multiple families.

1. Get organized

The best way to approach the entitlement process for a single family rental property is to get organized from the start. Gather all of the relevant documentation that you will need, including plans, surveys, and any applicable zoning codes. This will ensure that you have everything you need to move forward with the process. If you understand your own project, it will be easier to explain to many different stakeholders your desired outcome. The vision that you have for the

2. Be prepared to negotiate

In many cases, the entitlement process for a single family rental property can be negotiated. Be prepared to discuss your options with the city or county in which the property is located. Often, there may be some flexibility in terms of what is required in order for the property to be approved for rental use. Adjacent property owners may also have some input in the process, so it is important to be aware of their concerns and address them early on.

Make everyone more comfortable with the outcome of your project by understanding what they need from you and your project.

Be prepared to compromise in your negotiations in order to get the approvals you need in a timely manner. Having concessions in mind that you are prepared to make will help the process move forward more smoothly.

If the interested parties all feel like they’ve “gotten something” in the negotiations, everyone feels like they’ve “won” – and that feeling will carry positive attributions to your project throughout its build.

3. Work with an experienced professional

Working with an experienced professional can be extremely helpful when navigating the entitlement process for a single family rental property. A professional can help you understand the requirements and guide you through the process. This can save you a great deal of time and stress. The team at DOT-Architecture has seen how the City officials that you’re working with may not be 100% familiar with the product type- and the questions that they will have will be quite numerous until they become more familiar.

Here’s where we give you some bonus tips – stuff we’ve learned by going through it with a few more conservative cities and planning officials.

BONUS TIPS – That we’d love to help you work through more:

  1. Having well developed plans for fire & safety on the site are well worked out – and thought through.
  2. Understand what building code you are required to use Building code requirements vary depending on the municipality in which your rental property is located. It is important to be aware of the specific building code requirements for your area in order to ensure that your property meets all of the necessary standards.
  3. Trepidation from adjacent property owners — While a new product class, the city is looking more favorably on these types of development as a way to increase housing density and provide more diverse types of housing. However, property owners that will be affected by the increased traffic or view disruption could leave your project at the starting line for years. We have developed answers and solutions that can help!

In summary, there are some known land mines in the SFR development process that an architect can help you avoid. DOT-Architecture has a strong understanding of the entitlement process for single family rental properties in the Intermountain West. We can help you navigate the process and ensure that your property is properly approved for rental use. Contact us today to learn more about our services.