Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA (Barcode Properties)

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Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

HUD, Section 8 & Fair Housing = 2 to 4 per room.

The Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) code uses square footage as a guideline for occupancy:

  • 150 square feet for the first occupant
  • 100 square feet for each additional resident
  • Every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant must contain at least 70 square feet of floor space, or at least 50 square feet per person if occupied by more than one person
Apr 02, 2018 05:01 PM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Ne norm is two adults per room.

Apr 02, 2018 03:35 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA

Here in CA: the general rule of thumb for occupancy limits is 2 persons for bedroom+ 1 ( to protect familial status of those with kids), but what happens if family got more kids: 2 or 3? They are under 18 y.o. Would they be required to live? 

Apr 02, 2018 02:49 PM
John Bear
RE/MAX - Lake Bluff, IL
I'm Too Busy For Your Referrals!

I've seen 10-12 Asians live in a single 2 bedroom place. I guess ethnicity can play a rule in this. As far as legality, I do not know.

Apr 02, 2018 03:51 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Alliance Real Estate - Minot - Minot, ND
Bob Timm, Broker Associate, Alliance Real Estate

I know when I owned rental property I set limits and was never challenged on it. I really have no idea if it was legal or not and I would guess it falls under city zoning laws.

Apr 02, 2018 06:05 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

In our town it is less about number of bedrooms and sq footage and more about abusing the student population.

The have a heavy handed ordinance that they enforce limiting us to a max of 2 unrelated people in a dwelling.

when the students complain to me I just send them down to city hall to complain to the mayor, few do, so the ordinance continues.

Apr 02, 2018 04:18 PM
Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

    Yes, you can define the number of people who live in a rental.  Write it into the lease.

      In addition to that, Tallahassee has a "rooming house" ordinance that limits the number of occupants per house.  It was designed to keep property owners in quiet subdivisions from creating a nuisance by renting their houses to large numbers of college students.  

Apr 02, 2018 03:24 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I do not think it can be dictated.  A

Apr 02, 2018 03:11 PM
Corinne Guest
Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
The Choice of Professionals for Luxury Home Buying

Cannot be dictated.

Apr 02, 2018 02:54 PM
Steve Higgins
RE/MAX Kelowna - Kelowna, BC

2 people per bedroom. That changes when children are involved.

Apr 02, 2018 07:05 PM
Ken Jones
Toms River, NJ

Inna Ivchenko The Federal Fair Housing Act which prohibits setting such standards or asking such questions seems to be in conflict with other law and regulations.

However, in order to stay out of the line of fire, I'd play it safe and not get involved in asking such a question or setting a maximum.

If a property owner wants me to do so, I'd have to pass on that listing. There's too much legal uncertainty for my taste.

Apr 02, 2018 05:07 PM
Caroline Gerardo
Eagle Home Mortgage, LENNAR HOMES Home Loans - Newport Beach, CA
C. G. Barbeau the Loan Lady

2+ 1 for a one bed is the Los Angeles rule BUT; HOWEVER, it also depends on the square footage of the unit. A tiny place may give landlord cause to complain BUT it might be considered housing discrimination against children. What did Landlord write on the lease? If there is some reason why use (such as older electric or septic or I don't know excuse-  landlord could say 4 people is a greater burden on the tiny unit). 

Meanwhile, if they have the advantage of rent control and Venice BEACH location I would pay on time perfect and walk softly.

Apr 02, 2018 05:01 PM
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

That is spelled out in the lease/rental agreement. 

The application lists the name and ages of the intended occupants under the lease.  

If they invite six other families to live there without the landlord's knowledge or consent, then they are in violation of the terms of the lease agreement. 

Apr 02, 2018 05:00 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Yeah I think fire department regulations control. In California I believe the two plus one rule is in place. Or at least it was back when I was there. Two per bedroom plus one additional for the living space so a two-bedroom could have five people.

Apr 02, 2018 04:32 PM
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

I would check with the local authorities although my basic understanding is 2 plus 1 per bedroom .  (Los Angeles, California) 

Apr 02, 2018 04:07 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

there's a health code....and I think it's 2/room....

Apr 02, 2018 03:48 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Comply with your local occupancy regulations.

Apr 02, 2018 03:42 PM
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I don't handle rentals so I really have no clue, Inna. 

Apr 02, 2018 03:13 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I always used common sense, preference and instructions as to how many people may occupy a unit...Of the law, I know not

Apr 02, 2018 02:58 PM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
AZuRE Team - Realty ONE Group - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

It's defined by law in AZ. 2 people per bedroom. Your state rules may be different.

Apr 03, 2018 05:58 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D has the legal answers.

Apr 02, 2018 10:57 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I don't believe we are allowed to put a 'max' on rentals, Inna. I would check CA law though - I know I don't put a limit on my personal rentals.

Apr 02, 2018 07:31 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Not positive but have heard of a 2 plus 1 formula in CA.

Apr 02, 2018 04:54 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I have not checked .

Apr 02, 2018 03:53 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
BVO Luxury Group @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR nailed this one!

Apr 03, 2018 06:07 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

2 people in a 10x10 room plus (& this is so ODD) can be a boy & girl child in a bedroom even if they are teenagers.

Apr 03, 2018 05:53 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker

Limits are normally set by local ordinance. Normally no more than 2 occupants per bedroom.

Apr 03, 2018 05:07 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Inna Ivchenko - no more than 2 adult persons per bedroom.

Apr 02, 2018 10:12 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

only our short term rentals cover this and it's bedrooms x 2 plus 4 adults and no count on kids.  We have a lot of weekend rental properties in my market and the regulations are pretty new.

Apr 02, 2018 08:55 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

In my contracts the renters must list how many and who.

Apr 02, 2018 08:42 PM
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

2 per bedroom is what our code says but many violate it. We had 10 people living in a 2 bedroom townhome and one was sleeping in the closet. They were evicted.

Apr 02, 2018 08:15 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

If it is not government subsidized I am not sure of law. But normally two.

Apr 03, 2018 11:25 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ



Apr 03, 2018 05:52 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I believe my county places limits on occupancy.

Apr 03, 2018 05:40 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

No more than 3 unrelated people in any size unit 

Apr 03, 2018 05:14 AM
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I don't do rentals, so not sure.

Apr 05, 2018 08:31 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Couch surfers, triple decker bunk beds, stacked like cord wood, how big a gymnasium is the bedroom we're trying to all share? Cruise ships do it, you can sign on with defining what's the GVW for this rental unit expectations in the written lease. Or get ready for Hotel 6.9 and round the clock wear and tear community center fraternity house usage. Wondering who are all these people?

Apr 03, 2018 06:19 PM