What are our rights to have our significant others move into our rental?

My roommate and I rent a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom townhouse that is 1100 sq. ft. Recently we asked our landlord in our significant others could move in and be put on the occupancy list of our lease. She said no and that she doesn’t want 4 people living here. We know the law here is 2 per bedroom. Can she do this or does it violate the fair housing law?

Asked on July 28, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It depends on whether your written lease limits the occupants to those approved the landlord or not. If the lease gives the landlord some right of approval, or if it limits the number of people who live there, that provision is legal and enforceable: a lease is a contract, after all, and in signing the lease, you contractually agreed to limit the number or identity of people you could have live with you.

If there is no limitation in the lease, you should be able to have your significant others move in: landlords may not impose limitations not found in the lease. It would be a good idea, though, to double check your town/city's zoning rules (contact the city clerk and/or building/housing dept.) to make sure that there is no very local rule limiting occupancy.

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