Occupants per room limit

7 Replies

BP crew,

Quick question regarding Missouri Landlord Tenant law. Is there a limit to how many people can be living in a home per bedroom? I ask because I have an application that I will in all likelihood be denying as they have 6 children (2 adult) that applying to live in my 1600sqft 3/2 SFH. I like to have good reason for denying someone though. I just want to make sure that all of my ducks are in a row.

I cannot speak to Missouri law, but I have heard that HUD guidelines are 2 per bedroom, plus one. That being said, in every state I know of the landlord is able to set maximum occupancy at whatever level they desire, as long as it does no exceed local ordinances. that means you should be ok to say, a 3 bedroom has a limit of 4 humans/people if you so desire. (when setting limits never specify adults or children as any differentiation can be considered discrimination).

you best bet right now is to write down your rental criteria for this property, and assuming you don't want to rent to 8 people, write down that your limit is any number under 7. that way when you deny, you have written proof of your criteria.

@Greg Downey regardless of MO LL / Tenant law, call the municipality regarding their occupancy load.
In all my PM days since 2009, I don't see how any municipality is going to allow 8 people in a 3 bedroom home, if I understood the occupancy correctly. Many municipalities simply only allowed 2 per bedroom.

Limit is often 2 people per room but sometimes is stated as minimum bedroom space of 50sqft per person so if you have a 9x10 bedroom, that one would qualify for only one person in the room per many local code officials.

Be very careful with this.  Just the way you posted the question on here can easily open you up for liability and discrimination suits.

NEVER mention kids at all.  You're not limiting kids or anyone of any age, you're limiting "occupants."

Never just say "pets" if you want to avoid certain breeds being ushered in under the ADA.  Mention restricted breeds, period.  

look at the HUD website . It isnt a per room , its a per sq ft formula . And it also describes what can be considered a bedroom . Your local laws may vary , but the HUD rules are what most follow .

All,  thanks for the feedback and @Bryan Blankenship I see how my original post could be interpreted to see that I didn't want to rent to them because of children.  So to clear up for the off chance that somehow someone wanted to chase that into a courtroom, I was simple stating the facts.  This is very much a children friendly home.  

From everyone's feedback I was able to direct my research a bit more accurately. Here is what I found...... HUD regulations have a "Keating Memo" that addresses this issues. Essentially, the basic rule is 2 occupants to a bedroom. It does leave a bit of wiggle room for interpretation based on square footage.

At the end of the day, I decided to walk the property with the potential tenant and she decided that I wasn't a good fit after all.  

Thanks for the information guys!

AFAIK it’s 2+1 in my area.  Local laws may allow more 

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