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A dwelling (also residence, abode) is a self-contained unit of accommodation used by one or more households as a home or as a residence. Often a building, or alternatively a mobile home, houseboat or other substantial structure. A dwelling is normally considered to includes any outbuildings, sheds etc within the curtilage of the property.
According to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 160A-442, "Dwelling" means any building, structure, manufactured home or mobile home, or part thereof, used and occupied for human habitation or intended to be so used, and includes any outhouses and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith, except that it does not include any manufactured home or mobile home, which is used solely for a seasonal vacation purpose. According to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 53-244.030, "Dwelling" means a residential structure that contains one to four units, whether or not that structure is attached to real property. The term includes an individual condominium unit, cooperative unit, manufactured home, mobile home, or trailer if it is used as a residence. Under the Oregon law, a "dwelling" is defined as a "building which regularly or intermittently is occupied by a person lodging therein at night, whether or not a person is actually present." United States v. Adams, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 25866 (9th Cir. Or. Nov. 25, 2009)
In the United Kingdom a dwelling is defined as a self-contained unit of accommodation, such as a building, part of a building, caravan, houseboat or other mobile home. A tent would not normally be considered to be substantial enough to be considered to be a dwelling.
Example legal implications
In California, Criminal Penal Code 246 which refers to shooting a firearm at an inhabited dwelling. This code specifies that a "dwelling" (more commonly referred to as a house) is "inhabited" if a person lives in it; it is irrelevant whether or not anyone is present. A house, building, or structure is not considered "inhabited" or "occupied" if the occupants have moved out or vacated and do not intend to return, even if personal property is/was left behind. Therefore, it would no longer be considered a dwelling for legal purposes, which from a defense standpoint, would negate a conviction under this code. For prosectors, it is advantageous to construe these terms loosely in order to secure as many convictions as possible for violation of this code. Examples of loose interpretation exist not only in California, but also in other states such as Colorado where similar code (Colorado Code § 18-1-901(3)(g)) applies in cases even when a shooting at an detached garage that does not traditionally constitute a dwelling or house. However, courts in both of these states and others have held that it does qualify as an occupied building for purposes of criminal conviction.
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- All pages beginning with "Dwelling"
- All pages with titles containing "Dwelling"
- List of human habitation forms
- Home, a place of residence or refuge
- House, a home, building, or structure that functions as a habitat for humans or other creatures
- Lodging, a type of residential accommodation. People who travel and stay away from home for more than a day need lodging for sleep, rest, safety, shelter from cold temperatures or rain, storage of luggage and access to common household functions
- Habitual residence, a civil law term dealing with the status of refugees, and child abduction
- Public housing
- Residence in English family law, pertaining to where children should live in the case of disputes
- Tax residence, to determine the location of someone's home for tax purposes
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