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Families are getting smaller; rental rates are skyrocketing; hipsters are headed back to the land (sort of). Hence, you have the tiny house movement, a whole lot of people trying to live within very little spaces. And whether you see the desire to live simply inside of 500 square feet an effort to save the environment or a quaint lifestyle choice, you may run into some legal obstacles getting there.

Here are a few legal issues that come with owning a tiny home, and how you can overcome them.

Urban Gardening Laws

More and more people are turning their rooftops into gardens, front-yards into farms, and vacant lots into vegetable patches. And while the burgeoning urban garden movement can add beauty and affordable produce to any neighborhood, it can also bump up against a few city, state, and federal ordinances.

So if you're getting into urban agriculture to be more health conscious, eco conscious, or money conscious, make sure you're also conscious of the laws and statutes that might apply.

Whether it's your first, or you're hoping it will be your last, buying a house can be an exciting time. It can also be a bit nerve-racking -- between finding the perfect home, having it inspected, negotiating a price, and signing all the right paperwork, buying a house isn't easy.

Which is why we're here to help. Below is some of our best legal advice for buying a home, from the FindLaw archives:

Can My Landlord Come to Work to Collect My Rent?

It happens sometimes that people get behind on bills and rent. Maybe you had unexpected expenses, an emergency illness, or something else came up. If you are going to be late to pay and you know in advance, then you should definitely address this issue with your landlord.

But no, your landlord cannot harass you for money wherever you are known to go, and you do have recourse in the law if that happens. Let's consider rent, late payments, and the collections process.

We all love our pets, but often that love doesn't extend to other people's pets or strays; especially if they're straying onto our property and leaving a little something behind. Feral, stray, or wandering cats can be a nuisance -- one that tempts us to engage in some extreme behavior. But taking matters into your own hands might be a little too extreme.

So if you're thinking about killing a cat on your property, you should think about this first:

Homeowners' How-To: Spotting a Foreclosure Law Fraudster

Sometimes you hit a bad run of luck, which is what happened to Southern Californians with homes in foreclosure who were also bilked by their lawyers. Two Orange County law firms are accused of depriving distressed homeowners of $15 million in fees in one year alone, while providing few if any legal services.

The firms -- Brookstone Law and Advantis Law, both with multiple offices in Orange County -- targeted vulnerable clients and hooked them with false promises, guarantees that lawyers ethically cannot make. So it's no wonder that the Federal Trade Commission called the firms "shark tanks" and is seeking to freeze assets, rescind contracts, bar the lawyers from practicing law, and more. Let's examine the case, reported by Courthouse News Service, and consider how to spot a fraudster.

Preparing to Meet a Real Estate Attorney

When you are meeting a lawyer for the first time on a real estate matter of any kind, it's a good idea to make a list. Before your appointment, know your concerns and questions.

That's the first step. But it is a big one and will help with what's next, which is meeting your lawyer. So let's break down this list. Don't worry, it's not complicated.

Buying a Home: Get to Know the Rent-to-Own Process

You share the American Dream and want to own a home but your savings are minimal and your credit is ailing after years of economic insecurity. There is a dream deferred option -- it's called rent-to-own and it allows people to work towards home ownership gradually.

Renting to own is a little like moving in together or having a long engagement before marriage. It's a commitment but gradual. While state laws vary and individual contracts will have their own conditions, let's look at how rent-to-own agreements generally work.

3 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying a home for the first time can be a thrilling and scary experience. There is quite a bit to it, from figuring out what you can afford and what is available to securing financing and understanding the paperwork.

At times during the process you may feel like renting forever would be easier than trying to buy. But it is worth trying if you want what home ownership can bring, which is a sense of personal stability and investment in your future. Before you launch, review this checklist of considerations.

Whether you're already managing an apartment building, or thinking of buying a house as a rental investment, leasing property to a tenant can get complicated. In response to the shady landlords out there, many states have passed strict tenant rights protections, which can put new restrictions on everything from how you structure a lease to what you can do about evicting a tenant.

So how do you stay on the right side of landlord-tenant law? By following these seven legal tips for landlords: