6 kids and one adult want to move into my new unit

22 Replies

I know you can’t technically discriminate against kids but GEEZ.

What would you guys do? She’s qualified in all aspects.. just the total of 7 in a 4 bedroom makes me sick to my stomach

Once you have enough applications, pick the best one using a consistent weighted matrix (e.g. income, credit score, employment history, landlord history, tattoos, haircut, you get the picture.  As you mentioned, just avoid any protected class discrimination.

I once told my Army commander that I rated two soldiers the same when he asked me for a recommendation. He bluntly informed me that no two people are equal if you look closely enough.  He was right. 


A four bedroom home can easily accommodate seven people and you can't legally discriminate against children. She meets your qualifications so you should rent to her.

If you're concerned about the kids being tough on the rental, set a more frequent inspection schedule and keep an eye on it.

@Charlie Moore I just typed a response on another forum post about this subject. The original poster wanted to add a fourth bedroom to his three bedroom house. I pointed out that it will just attract more people. More people is more wear. As @Russell Brazil stated, 9 people in a 4 bedroom is allowable. The general formula is number of bedrooms time two plus one. The plus one is because someone can sleep on a pull out couch or similar.

The big problem is wear on the property. Think about it, you have seven people using a toilet, sink, walking on floor, etc. Every person increases wear and decreases the life of household items. You can't charge for wear and you can't discriminate. You will have things breaking left and right.

I just hope they are not section 8.

Check with your local regulations; many municipalities have their own rules (which are typically more stringent = lower allowed occupancy than statewide regulations).  In NY state, maximum occupancy is determined in 2 different ways: on the size of the apartment, and on the number & size of bedrooms.  You can get 2 different answers; the lower one prevails.

You may wish to add language to your lease - if Code limits occupancy but your lease is silent, it would be tougher to address if occupancy goes above allowed...

You should have a maximum occupancy. It shouldn't matter if its adults, kids, or martians. You tell applicants, my limit is X people and that's it. If you would be willing to let 8 adults in your property, you should be willing to have 1 adult and 7 children.

Originally posted by @Andrew B. :

You should have a maximum occupancy. It shouldn't matter if its adults, kids, or martians. You tell applicants, my limit is X people and that's it. If you would be willing to let 8 adults in your property, you should be willing to have 1 adult and 7 children.

 In New York State under the total square foot calculations, you can add one occupant under the age of four for every two allowed occupants (and an apartment rated for one occupant can be occupied by one adult and one child under four).  Clear as mud, right?  That means you could have a situation where 8 adults are fine, and so would be 1 adult plus 11 kids (!) - but 4 of those kids would have to be under 4 years old...

Originally posted by @Harriet Baldwin:
Originally posted by @Andrew B.:

You should have a maximum occupancy. It shouldn't matter if its adults, kids, or martians. You tell applicants, my limit is X people and that's it. If you would be willing to let 8 adults in your property, you should be willing to have 1 adult and 7 children.



 In New York State under the total square foot calculations, you can add one occupant under the age of four for every two allowed occupants (and an apartment rated for one occupant can be occupied by one adult and one child under four).  Clear as mud, right?  That means you could have a situation where 8 adults are fine, and so would be 1 adult plus 11 kids (!) - but 4 of those kids would have to be under 4 years old...


 

I can't comment on NY law specifically, but I hope you still have the ability to limit occupancy in the state. In that case, I would put a lower limit to accommodate for the possibility.

The ordinances are in place to create a Maximum inhabitants limit based on a formula.  This is not a dictated directive that you have to allow that many residents within a dwelling unit.  A residential lease is a Private contract.  Your only responsibility to not breach protected classes with a bias.  With four bedrooms, my standard lease limits tenants to no more than two unrelated adults.  No more than two bodies per bedroom.  Everyone over 18 fills out an application and pays for a background and credit check..  All over 18 are also signatories to the lease.  This makes each one a guarantor of payment even if all leave but one.

You can, if wanted, create a limit of max inhabitants of 5 with a four bedroom home, you can also limit to two inhabitants total if that's your wish....regardless of state or local formulas.  Again...your lease is a Private contract and the only gotchas on who and how many... are when you violate protected classes.

Daryl Luc,  I know two people who got into trouble with the Feds by setting such limits,  as it effectively violates the family status portion of the Fair Housing Act.

But I will say...my mom was a widow with 7 kids....we were damn hard on that house.  (which we owned, but still.)

@Charlie Moore

Call your local Fair Housing Authority. I had a similar question before and there are some nuances to ensure you're not discriminating. For example, I was told 2 occupants per room, but a baby or infant does not count. Also, a room such as a sun porch could possibly be counted as as a bedroom.

Anyway, if you have a 4 bedroom property now, I'm sure there's plenty of room.

@Charlie Moore lol hopefully you have some other qualified applicants. 6 kids would put a beating on a house.

I have had showings where parents can't control their kids at all, it's crazy. Kids climbing into cabinets or up onto counter tops and their parents just watching them saying nothing. The whole time I'm just standing there thinking that if I had kids like that no way I'd take them to see a place I was trying to move into.

I’ve rented my four bedroom apartment to 7 kids and 2 adults . Yes it was legal and yeah there was enough room for them all . I got a little more rent due to the extra bedrooms and it was within the guidelines of the fair housing laws because I didn’t discriminate and they paid the rent credits on time

That being said they kicked the everlasting $)&t out of this place ! In one year I had to replace the oven ,the furnace and refrigerator ! I had two separate clogs in the plumbing the carpet was filthy and the place needed completely repainted . I lost money even though they paid rent without a hiccup . All hinges on the cupboards were banged loose food particles and dust everywhere..it was just really a bad situation that I’m glad is over . Would have been better off just leaving it vacant .

Kids are harder on stuff than large aggressive dogs . I’m serious that’s not even a joke ! The more kids in a building the more it’s going eat you your money one way or another it’s going to cost you . Think on this good and hard when screening folks is all I’m saying !

First, do not discriminate against kids.  Second, check your local ordinance. 

But your information does suggest potential risks from this tenant.  I find that that many kids only with one adult creates supervision problems.  The tenant has almost an insurmountable amount of work to provide for that family:  provide an income, cook, clean, shop, get the kids to school, etc...   

You have a four bedroom rental.

I tend not to like larger rentals because there is excessive maintenance for larger spaces.  In addition to the size, more people live in the building.  The turnover costs proved to be expensive.


Originally posted by @Matt P. :

@Charlie Moore lol hopefully you have some other qualified applicants. 6 kids would put a beating on a house.

I have had showings where parents can't control their kids at all, it's crazy. Kids climbing into cabinets or up onto counter tops and their parents just watching them saying nothing. The whole time I'm just standing there thinking that if I had kids like that no way I'd take them to see a place I was trying to move into.

 I showed  a house to a lady with 5 kids.  She brought all of them to the showing and one pulled out the gas fireplace insert and broke it when I was showing her another room.  All of them raced up and down the stairs in my 120 year old house I had just spent tons of $ and time fixing.  They slammed the doors over and over.  And one peed on the floor next to the toilet.

I was sooo glad her credit score came back in the 500's!  I rented to someone with an acceptable credit score in to mid 700s.

@Charlie Moore . If you have to ask the question find another tenant probably cost you more in repairs than you would make with all them kids. She doesn’t have to know just don’t return her calls or some creative way of just not renting to her. The wear and tear on that house is going to be tremendous !!!

I have a family of a dozen (parents and ten children) in a 7 bedroom two bath unit.  Section 8 pays me 125% of "allowable" because it's so hard to find a big unit and a landlord who is willing to take a family with so many kids.  I won't go into details, but believe you me, we earn every single penny of that rent - they are SO incredibly hard on the unit, and require so much attention. 

If you have any way of avoiding having them as your tenants, avoid them.  Your house will be destroyed.  When they leave, it will need new walls, new flooring, new doors, new bathroom fixtures, new appliances, new countertops and new cabinet facings, basically anything that the children could possibly have ruined, they will have ruined.  It has been like this forever.

We decided (and I only have 3 kids) not to buy anything nice or new for our own home, because no matter what, the kids would ruin it.  And my kids are relatively good kids, pretty well-behaved.  And it's my own home.  And two parents, always had one at home.  Now imagine a woman with 6 kids and she's a single parent.  And it's a rental.  It will look like it went through a war within a month of them having moved in.

Originally posted by @Nancy P. :

Daryl Luc,  I know two people who got into trouble with the Feds by setting such limits,  as it effectively violates the family status portion of the Fair Housing Act.

Without any other information, there's really no way I can respond to your anecdote directly but I do disagree as to whether my clauses would violate.  Let me just say this, the 'directive' you point to does in no way force anyone to make their property into a dormitory.....for adults or kids.  

The key to family status occupant limits as written in the Act, is the use of the term 'reasonable' specifically as it pertains to numbers of occupants and relationship to each other.  Reasonable is ill defined within the Act's wording.  In fact, it's not defined at all beyond any standard dictionary use. 

Also, while not true in every state, making application is not a right, it's a choice that must be mutual. I submit, it is prudent business to not accept applications on demand from a tenant prospect, but to invite them to submit.  If a request is made, you have every right to let the prospect know that you have additional showings scheduled and when they have happened, you will reach out to those that make the cut and invite them to apply, pay their application fee and proceed.  This is legal too.  As others in this thread have stated, there are creative ways to escalate prospects ahead of others.

I have access to both our family owned real estate company and attorneys that share my last name (not used in this forum for that reason) who have more than assured me that my lease stands up to any federal, state and local ordinance for where we operate.

I hope your friends made out ok.

 

Reasonable is defined by local standards and perhaps a judge, if it comes to that. Where I own, Chicago suburbs, it's 2 people per bedroom and children under one don't count. I wouldn't want to argue with local code enforcement as to what is reasonable. I'm glad your lease is legal, but what we're discussing is screening /application policy. The people I know who got in trouble are from an REI group I was in before moving to Germany. One I don't know what happened, Was I left the country), the other paid a $10K fine, attorney fees, and a good deal of his time.

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