In the last few years, the City of Bozeman has reinforced the how, where, what of renting out properties in Bozeman (VRBOs and short term rentals). There are numerous factors to consider (i.e. location, zoning, etc, etc) beyond this list, but this is to kick off the basics when shopping for a property that has investment opportunity. Specifically, this blog is looking at "a main house and ADU" as a rental property. 

  • Property Type: Main House and ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) 
  • Where: Located in city limits of Bozeman 
  • What: Review both HOA covenants and bylaws (or possible Property Management Company to verify) AND review the city of Bozeman ordinances for specific restriction language
  • Restrictions: The City of Bozeman has restrictions on where you can have Short Term Rentals and How to Rent an ADU as a long term rental (owner occupancy requirements), etc. 
  • Zoning: Look for R-2 zoning to appropriately qualify the property to rent 2 units as long term or short term rentals if within city limits (other zoning may qualify) 
    --- Caveat that R-S or R-1 zoning could permit an ADU as a rental; however, both units (meaning the main house and ADU) cannot be rented out at the same time. *More ruling to be investigated. 
  • R-2 is defined as: Intent of R-2 residential two household medium density district is to provide for one and two household residential development at urban densities within the city in areas that present few or no development constraints, and for community facilities to serve such development while respecting the residential quality and nature of the area. 
  • Parking Spots: 1 parking spot is required for an ADU


    1. Does the property have the appropriate sized lot to build an ADU? 
    2. Have you spoken to a lender on a construction loan to build an ADU? 
    3. Have you considered an Architect and Builder to vet the project? 
    4. Is the property in a historic district of Bozeman? 

  • According to the Community Development UDC Updated on May 8th, 2017: 

Sec. 38.360.040. - Accessory dwelling units (ADU). (38.22.030)
C. Supplemental ADU provisions for the R-S and R-1 districts:

: The detached dwelling unit within which the ADU is located, or the ADU itself, is actually and physically occupied as a principal residence by at least one owner of record who possesses at least an estate for life or a 50 percent fee simple ownership interest. No more than one of the dwellings, either the principal dwelling or the accessory dwelling, may be rented by non-owners at the same time.
The city may require a guarantee of compliance with the requirements of this section, including but not limited to a binding deed restriction or covenant enforcing the single rental restriction as allowed in section 38.270.080.B, as a condition of approval." (Page 248 of 564)

****WARNING - Please note that the city does update the ordinances so be sure to visit the City of Bozeman codes or call the planning department for specific questions at 406-582-2344.  

For further reference to the above information, please review the City of Bozeman Ordinances at this link. If you are looking for an investment property, don't hesitate to inquire about specific properties so I can help you research the ins and outs of the property.

Marisa Owen - Realtor
Cell: (925) 785-2596 


Updates last made on 6/27/2019 

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