Have you ever had too many people living in your rental?

7 Replies

The reason I ask is, at the foreclosure I just bought, the neighbor claims there used to be about eight cars parked at the house, and tons of people living there. He may be exagerating but clearly there were too many living there.

I know that in some cultural communities it is the norm to have a huge amount of people living in one house, splitting the rent. How do you handle this if it happens at your rental? Is the "no more than 2 people per bedroom, plus one" a fair housing law, or just a helpful rule of thumb?

In my condo in Florida I only allow a total of 4 people. It's a 2/2 and I make it specifically clear when they are leasing. The HOA also has a rule that a max of 4 people can be in a unit and they are all the same size.

I think your rule of thumb of 2 people per bedroom is spot on. How do I handle it if I find out I give them a max of 3 days for the additional people to vacate. I inform the tenent they are in breach of the contract and that if needed I will take legal action to have them removed.

Hi, you'll find this, as I have, in college towns where the kids gang up to save money. City odrinance is no more than three unrelated parties in a single dwelling unit. That seems to work fairly well. You can incorporate that into your lease and have all tenants sign the lease. Defining "living there" can have several tests to meet; uses as a mailing address, address is used for voter registration, address is used for school registration or employment, drivers license listed address, is unrelated and stays longer than 7 days, maintains personal property at the address in excess of 7 days of personal are just some of the requirements you can include in a lease to define residency.

It may depend on the zoning. Some zoning codes specify "no more than two unrelated persons".

Fair housing laws, however, say you cannot ask about marital relationships.

If you live in Phoenix and own a rental. You might be renting out to one of my good hispanic friends that seem to have 30 people in a 3bd house. My friend I call Mexican Joe lived in a 2/1 while we were growing up(neighbors). He lived with his 3 brothers, mom, dad, aunt, uncle and their 2 kids. They also had a 1 bd back house where after the cops busted the coyotes that were living there, a few of Joe's family from Mexico shacked up there, I remember at one point there were 6 people living in that little shack.

They were all great people, are still close family friends today and I attend every party they throw(trust me, you would too) the landlord has never complained and the house has always been immaculate and landscaping the best of the neighborhood.

but of course, that is a isolated situation. I would never buy a rental property with that many people living in it previously(Unless it was Joe and his familia, although Joe has sinced married and moved 2 streets over) or allow that many people to live it one now. I think we have actually have a 2 persons per bedroom rule around here.

Require applicants to list everybody who will be living there. Require an application from every potential resident 18 and over.

Have it in your rental agreement that only the people listed on the rental agreement are allowed to live there.

2 per bedroom plus 1 on the couch is a rule of thumb from HUD. It is not an actual law. But if you follow it, it will keep you out of trouble.

You are not required to accept blended families and unrelated adults. The 2 per bedroom only applies to nuclear families. HUD is not coming after you for refusing to rent to 3 married couples plus someone's uncle in a 3 bedroom house.

Unless your state specifically prohibits it, make every roommate meet your rental criteria separately. That will prevent a lot of blended families and unrelated adults because they wouldn't be sharing if they could afford a house of their own.

Where you get into trouble is turning down families with lots of kids. If you have a 3 bedroom, you can not turn down 2 parents with 5 kids just because it is too many people. You are allowed to turn down 7 unrelated adults.

In Oregon, mixed genders of children are not allowed to share the same bedroom after some age (18 months? 2 years?) so that affects how many children I am required by law to accept. Oregon is the only state I know of with that law.

I have a 4/2 that poor college kids used to try and cram with their friends to keep the rent low.

Now there doesn't seem to be so many poor college kids.

I now rent that 4/2 to just TWO college girls who use one bedroom for makeup and one for an extra closet.

Hi again, you can check by searching HUD tenant occupancy guidelines.
There is a sq ft requirement for a bed room and per person. There is also as mentioned above age limits by gender to share a bedroom. I have never heard of any couch exceptions. An adult may share a bedroom with same gender children or same up to a certain age, like 2, as I recall. Rules are also being defined by family unit since everyone is not married now days and the ordinance I mentioned will not be enforced in situations where say two unmarried aduts have two children by one of the adults and another by the other adult. (which would be 4 unrealted parties) say in a 3bdr, one girl and two boys. HUD has better things to do than to chase down sq ft tenant violations. However, if you are in subsidized housing, it becomes a problem, remember that everyone in the household has to qualify for rental assistance, so if they bring in someone who has a job, they and you could have a problem.

Marc, college kids seem to have more money than you'd think! Mine have been very good tenants! Bill

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