If you’ve built a rental property or converted your detached garage into an apartment or granny flat, you may want to get a second address added to that residence.
If you’ve bought a house and converted it into two separate properties, they’ll each need to have their mailbox and address.
This isn’t an overly common situation, so we’ll explore how to get this process started and why someone would want to do this.
Add a Second Address to Your House:
Ask your mail carrier if they have any guidance on adding a second mailbox. They may direct you to the post office, where you may register your second address. You may need to fill out an application with the city and pay a fee in other places.
Can a House have Two Addresses?
A single house that hasn’t been officially subdivided into separate units will only have one address.
You wouldn’t need to designate addresses in residence for each person who lives there.
They will deliver the mail to the address on the envelope, and the person’s name will be at the top of the envelope. Therefore, if you live in a house with your friends, you will all share the same home address.
This applies to a home where perhaps several people have their rooms in the home but share bathrooms, living spaces, kitchen spaces, and ways of entering and exiting the home.
But if a house had been modified into two distinct units, the situation would be different.
Can the Upper and Lower Levels of a House have Different Addresses?
They can if they’re set up as duplexes.
In general, a duplex is a multi-level dwelling split into two separate units.
Therefore, each unit will have its individual address. They may share the number and have different letters added on.
For example, a home at 100 Smith Road transformed into a duplex may now have 100a Smith Road and 100b Smith Road.
Additionally, some homeowners may want to keep the majority of the house as one address but convert their basement or garage to a completely separate rental unit.
One of the key characteristics of a situation where two different levels of one home will have different addresses is when there are two completed distinct entrances. There can be no shared spaces in a unit like a duplex or a home with a basement apartment, including entryways.
So if you’re thinking of converting your basement or garage into a rental spot to make some extra money, ensure you meet those requirements to get a separate address for your rental home.
Can a House have a Suite Address?
Suite addresses are more often associated with businesses that share the same residence.
If you’re building what’s known as a mother-in-law suite, you may think that it will automatically get its individual suite address. That’s not necessarily the case. A lot of this depends on your local ordinances and rules.
If the person living in your mother-in-law’s suite is someone you trust, you could keep getting mail to the same address and dole it out appropriately.
If you’re planning to rent it out to someone who might want to have their own address, you can go to your local post office for guidance. In some cases, you can put up a second mailbox and designate the house number with A and B.
You may have to apply for an address with your city or county in other cases.
You’ll only want to do this if you’re aware of the potential tax consequences. Adding a second address to your property may increase your tax rate or create a second tax lot. If so, you can inform your renter that they should get a PO Box to receive their mail separately.
The same may be true if you build an outbuilding on your property that will serve as a business. While it may be convenient to have the mail carrier separate your business from your mail, especially if you get a lot of letters or packages, it may create a tax situation with the local government.
If a building that was previously a home has been converted into an office space with multiple businesses, then those businesses will have individual suite addresses.
However, the building will have been completely rezoned in that process, and the new addresses would have been issued then.
Where Do You Go to Change Your House Address?
The best place to go is the post office, where they can guide you.
As a note, we’re not talking about updating your address when you move from one residence to another, but rather how to change the address associated with a specific building or attempt to split or add an address.
Zoning laws and street names can change over time, and sometimes you might want to change the street name of the house where you’re living. If you want to change your address, you’ll need to go to the post office.
They’ll be able to advise you on what you should do, especially if you live in an area that is not incorporated or exists in a strange zoning situation.
In many cases, you’ll have to submit an application with various information and reasons for wanting to change or add an address to your property.
Do You Have to Pay to Change your House Address?
Most likely, the city will be responsible for ensuring that the change is entered into the appropriate records.
Most municipalities require a fee to be paid when the application is turned in, but it will be refunded if the application is denied.
Most times, this is a flat fee, but it may also be calculated based on your property values.
In some densely populated city areas, you might encounter residences and businesses with fractional addresses.
This can happen when a space that wasn’t previously a residence or business address becomes one over time.
This could be the result of bad planning, subdividing units (which is common in big cities), turning spaces that used to be for horses into homes for humans (carriage houses), or simply because of superstition (12 1/2 instead of 13).
This is a fun address convention, and if you’re applying for an extra address at your home, throw in a fractional address on the application and see if the city will give it to you. It’ll be a point of interest for years to come.