The Most Bizarre Real Estate Laws Across the U.S.

Real Estate

Could you be breaking these odd Real Estate laws without even knowing it? As a Real Estate professional sometimes you encounter local or state laws that can really slow down the transaction. Here is a list of some of the most outrageous laws from all over the U.S.


  • It is illegal to keep an alligator in your bathtub. In Texas it is also illegal to raise alligators inside your home.


  • If homeowners are approached by a homeless person during extreme heat, they are legally obligated to give them water or face fines and penalties.


  • Strict restrictions limit the amount and type of plants that homeowners are allowed to keep outdoors. Homeowners are required to keep their potted plants indoors. Violating this law will result in a fine or confiscation of the plants.

Prunedale, California

  • Two bathtubs may not be installed in the same house.

Walnut, California

  • You can't put dirt, sand, rock or cement on your property that was not originally there. The city also prohibits trash, rubbish and dead animal carcass' on your front lawn.

Aspen, Colorado 

  • It's illegal to throw snowballs at your house. This law applies to public and private property. Homeowners are also prohibited from firing guns and other missiles from inside their home (these items are both lumped into the same law).

Boulder, Colorado 

  • It is illegal to have a couch on your porch. This law applies to upholstered chairs, couches or mattresses in the yard or on the porch of a home. The law stems from a habit among local college students of setting said couches on fire. Since this law passed in Boulder, other cities have caught on and passed similar laws, including Lincoln, Nebraska; Columbia, Missouri and Ames, Iowa.

Denver, Colorado

  • It is illegal to lend your vacuum cleaner to your neighbor.

Hawaii and New Mexico

  • All home improvement projects including mowing your lawn is illegal on Sundays. Other states restrict activities like roof shingling on Sunday as well.


  • Homeowners who have pet monkeys can’t let their chimps smoke cigarettes indoors.


  • It is illegal to walk around your own house nude without obtaining a license.


  • It is a misdemeanor to leave your holiday lights up after Jan. 14th.

Ridgeland, Mississippi

  • It is illegal to have burglar bars on the outside of your windows unless they were installed prior to 1996.


  • It is illegal for more than four unrelated women to rent an apartment together. Regardless of the relationship of the women, in Arkansas and Arizona, six women renting together is illegal. Both state have what is referred to as the "Brothel Law" which was an attempt to reduce the number of these types of properties.
  • You can not have an antenna exposed on the outside of your house.
  • Historic homes have strict guidelines to follow when painting, or replacing their front doors. This law is enforced to maintain the integrity of the original property.
  • It is unlawful for any person or persons to offer for sale household goods in a "yard" or "garage" sale in an area in front of the front building line of the premises in which such person or persons reside.

New York

  • Sellers are required by law to disclose whether or not the property is thought to be haunted.
  • A license must be purchased before hanging clothes on a clothesline.

Rhode Island

  • It is illegal to have a fence that is higher than six feet. Overly tall fences are considered "spite fences" and builders are required to remove or lower them. This law is to allow all property owners unobstructed views and to minimize conflicts between neighbors.

Bell Buckle, Tennessee

  • It is illegal to throw glass bottles at trees in your yard.


  • On Waldron Island It is illegal for any building to have more than two toilets. The tiny island in the Puget Sound makes up one of 172 islands in the San Juan Archipelago, which is located between Washington State and Canada. It is one of the lesser-developed islands, but it does have an elementary school and post office.
  • It is unlawful to set fire to another person's property without prior permission.

Hudson, Wisconsin

  • Screens are required on all windows from May 1 to October 1.