Per Bedroom Occupancy Regulations

5 Replies

Hi everyone... I need your help please... My husband and I started investing in Real Estate almost a year ago... Bigger Pockets is a Big part of our early success... THANK YOU !

We are just starting to hold some properties as rentals..

Have one rented - accepting applications on a second...

My question is -- I have read and heard of a 2 person per bedroom occupancy regulation... Is this a law, regulation, fire and safety code issue, every day common sense OR discrimination ??

Thank you for your time and I will really appreciate your feedback...


The answer to your question will be found in your state landlord tenant regulations or your local building codes.

A year ago you should have studied your state landlord tenant regulations so that you understood the rules governing your business before you bought your first property . The fact that you have operated for a year without studying all the regulations means you do not know your rights and equally importantly you do not know your tenants rights. That is not acceptable that you are operating a business without knowing the laws.

Study your state codes and keep a copy with you at all times.

In California, Fair Housing says 2 per room plus 1. So

1bed = 3 people

2bed = 5 people

A sinlge/bachelor unit is 2 people. That's because you can not discriminate against children. A can not rent a place in their own, so it would be a single parent. Parent and 1 child


Greg S.   The time you took to respond is appreciated ... However, you shouldn't have.. As you do not know me or what I have or haven't done..

I have studied our local regulations and I researched this very question before reaching out to the Mostly helpful and nice people here on Bigger Pockets..

If I had found a direct answer to my question in my research I would not have had to seek outside help...

Obviously you should not speak of what you do not know.

JC Conchas .. Thank you... Yes, that is what I have found as a general rule here as well - but I also read where this could be considered discriminatory.. That is the reason behind my question..

Thank you again for your response.

The 2 souls/bedroom is a rule of thumb when used to calculate the size of a septic system, and other utilities.  Probably similar to you, there are no codes per-se that govern the amount of people per room in my area.  I think there are internal stipulations a plenty.  For example... if your tenant is on assistance, the assisting agency can (and maybe should) require a certain size place for a certain size family.  Also, bigger apartment complexes and property managers set their own limits.. which is usually 2/bedroom.  I think this is for consistency for the most part, but is also influenced by their insurance.

From a landlord perspective, I like the idea of 2/bedroom +1 from JC... I think I'm going to apply that going forward.  The key is to apply this rule to every applicant so that you aren't discriminating.  The most I had apply was 14 people for a 3 bd.  I told them no, and stick to 6 people or less in that house.  Since all all my other properties have septic systems, it is a very real concern that the systems could be overloaded, so I take that into consideration when picking tenants.  

Thanks for your response Sam...

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