Can You Legally Live Off The Grid In Michigan?
We've all heard stories of people living in the wilderness, way up in the mountains, or just flat out disappearing from the face of the Earth. This is what the government and many others have labeled as "living off the grid". This means you aren't using any traceable resources and as far as the world is concerned, you don't exist.
Now, the question that most people have is whether or not you can legally live off the grid. As we know laws exist in our country and state which could make living off the grid hard and if you violate them, you could be punished. Short answer, yes, it is legal to live off the grid in Michigan, but the long answer includes some stipulations to follow.
Moving out to the middle of nowhere with just yourself or your family seems like the dream. Being able to own your land, build your own home, and set up all the off-the-grid amenities will be an amazing time. Although you can live mostly undetected, there are a few conditions you must adhere to.
Legally living off the grid in Michigan and America as a whole is fairly simple and is ultimately encouraged. They say that living off the grid goes hand in hand with the principle of American Freedom. The only things that can get in the way are a few laws surrounding taxes, squatting, sewer lines, and more.
Serious Sewage & Squatting
In Michigan, you are allowed to live off the grid as long as you have property to stay in and are not squatting in an open lot, open space, or abandoned building. Most people choose to buy land and build their own home out on their property. The other side of having your own property is the water and sewer laws.
The sewer system could be the second biggest downfall for most that choose to live off the grid. Here in the state of Michigan, there is a statewide law that says if there is a local sewer line located near your property you must be connected to it. Choosing to ignore this could result in legal penalties and ramifications.
Taxes, Building Codes, & More
Even if you're living off the grid in your own home you must still follow building code laws to ensure you are living in a home that is safe to reside in. Things like where the stairs are, exits, fire and carbon monoxide detectors and more still need to be up to date to be within the law. Also, there aren't many restrictions on creating your own power and selling it to others but be careful as you may violate an uncommonly known law.
In order to get food, you will have to fish and hunt which will require you to have licenses for both of those activities. As poaching is illegal in Michigan and the entire United States, you would not be able to kill and eat any animals in the state without a proper fishing or hunting license.
Now that we've got all of that out of the way, the number one reason people are punished for living off the grid is taxes. Every able-bodied person is required to pay taxes according to the law and if you own property, you must pay property taxes as well. Refusing to do so will have the IRS and other government agencies knocking at your door asking for money and answers.
Living off the grid is more than legal in Michigan and, from the sounds of it, the government encourages those who wish for that lifestyle to exercise their right to live in that way. Just be careful of tax, septic, building, and squatting laws to make sure you keep law enforcement from visiting your peaceful home away from everyone.