Number of Occupants per Unit Los Angeles

10 Replies

Hi BP Fam! 

I'm renting out a backhouse, which is only 360 square feet in Marina del Rey (Los Angeles). Am I allowed to list "Unit is limited to and ideal for a single occupant" as one of my criteria? I'd appreciate any feedback or suggestions on how to list this particular criteria. 


Thanks in advance! 

Kasey 

@Kasey Destache this may affect the Fair housing advertising rules as you are limited to only discriminate based on financing qualifications (credit score and employment requirements). This would exclude families in  your advertising so its best to not include that in your listing. When you speak to them over the phone during your prescreen, you can mention that LA city code has a limit of 2 people per bedroom per unit. Being that you are a studio it would mean one person but again, having this in writing on an advertisement opens you to the potential of violating fair housing advertising rules. 

@Jonathan Taylor Thanks for the feedback! I completely understand being careful about having this criteria listed in writing and won't list it as a criteria. However, I'd really like to emphasize it during a phone or in person screening. I would assume that due to the 360 square feet and the fact that it is a studio, I would be able to limit it to one occupant. Is there any way to find out or should I just go based off of their applications? 

Originally posted by @Jonathan Taylor :

When you speak to them over the phone during your prescreen, you can mention that LA city code has a limit of 2 people per bedroom per unit. Being that you are a studio it would mean one person but again, having this in writing on an advertisement opens you to the potential of violating fair housing advertising rules. 

Are you sure about this? Unless changed, CA uses 2+1 formula and Los Angeles (Municipal Codes 91.1207 & 91.1208) use: 70 to 119 sqft can accommodate two people; 120 to 169 sqft can accommodate three people; 170 to 219 sqft, three people, and one added person for each additional 50 sqft.

So a 360 sqft unit is OK for 5 people. 

@Greg M. I attended the SCEP and RSO classes as I am in LA rent control and this was the rule provided during that class. You may be correct with your municipal code as I am not an expert in municipal code. I have followed the RSO guidelines as that is who can ultimately cause me headaches. 

Also, five people for 360 sq ft (and this is an opinion here) sounds odd to legally allow to rent to in that tiny space. 

@Kasey Destache I have these conversations prior to showing the unit over the phone as I have three micro and small units (less than 400 sq ft). I'm careful with my wording as I say that per RSO, this is the limit. It removes  yourself from the decision making seat and places it on oversight rules and city codes but as Greg pointed out, I may be wrong on the city code angle. 

@Jonathan Taylor I agree, 5 people in a 360 sq. ft. unit definitely sounds odd. This is one backhouse unit. Landlord/owners (my parents) and myself (property manager) live in the front house. I've tried searching Google and LA city websites for the answer but @Greg M. may be right, as I saw a chart he was possibly referencing. I just think that is bizarre though. I could understand maybe 3 people if it was 2 people and a child but any more than 3 people does not make any sense. I guess I'll just have to be very careful with my wording during phone screenings. Thanks! 

I might be wrong. I found those specifics by doing a search. However, I do recall from a prior discussion on these forums that the codes allow for an ungodly number of people in a unit. It had something to do with LA looking at the size of the overall unit, not how many or how big the bedrooms are. There is an old LA Times article that came up saying 15 people was legally OK in a one bedroom, 800 sqft apartment.

There is also a bunch of articles that say landlords have the right to restrict the number of people in a unit and using the 2+1 rule is probably safe. However, they also mention the 2+1 is a guideline and not legally adopted either state or federally. 

@Greg M. Copy that! Well this was all very helpful, overall. I'll simply make sure that this part of my criteria is not listed in writing and will have to go based off screening/conversation, application, and background check/references. Thanks! 

@Greg M. Im in shock that 15 people can actually fit into 800 sqft 1/1. Thats the same as a european hostel cramming 30 people on four high bunks. But knowing what I know  about LA city building code (its packed with contradictions and rules that aren't based on logic), wouldn't surprise me. 

@Kasey Destache good luck and bottom line is, you are in control of who to rent to. Just follow fair housing advertising rules

Originally posted by @Kasey Destache

I'm renting out a backhouse, which is only 360 square feet in Marina del Rey (Los Angeles). Am I allowed to list "Unit is limited to and ideal for a single occupant" as one of my criteria? I'd appreciate any feedback or suggestions on how to list this particular criteria. 

Is there anything California does that makes sense?!?

Look at the space requirements for children in foster care. Two kids would require at least 40 sq.ft. of bed space each with two feet of space between, meaning 100 sq.ft. total. The adult would also require a bedroom for another 80 - 100 sq.ft. Bathroom would be another 50 sq.ft. Each child must have a minimum of 35 sq.ft. living space for another 70 sq.ft.  That's already 420 sq.ft. for a single adult and two little kids. 

California says you can shove eight adults in that same space.