How many adults can live in a 3 bedroom rental home?

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How many adults can live in a 3 bedroom rental home?

I am looking to rent a house. The house would not be a multifamily, but we would be 2 couples with 2 children. Would this be an issue?

Asked on August 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

Mark Siegel / Law Office of Mark A. Siegel

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the house is a 3 bedroom single family dwelling, before renting, it would be wise to obtain written verification from the local building dept, that the property is a legal 3 bedroom house.

There are landlords who add living space to a rental property unlawfully, without filing the required paperwork & without the issuance of proper permits from the local building dept. This can give rise to a violation of the property's certificate of occupancy & result in the issuance of a local code violation, which could require the property owner to discontinue the illegal use or file plans to legalize the alteration or addition. The owner may not wish to, or be able to, incur the expense involved in legalizing the illegal space. It is also possible that local law may not permit that type of alteration or addition to the property.

As far as the landlord restricting occupancy, NY Real Property Law §235-f governs unlawful  restrictions  on  occupancy. §235-f (2) states that: "It shall be unlawful  for a landlord to restrict occupancy of residential premises, by express lease terms or otherwise, to a tenant or tenants or to such tenants and immediate family. Any such restriction in a lease or rental agreement entered into or renewed before or after the effective date of this section shall be unenforceable as against
public policy." This NY statute became effective in 1983 and was amended in 1985.

Since you state that there are 2 adult couples with children, you should make sure you clearly understand that §235-f (4) states that: "Any lease or rental agreement for residential premises entered into by two or more tenants shall be construed to permit occupancy by tenants, immediate family of tenants, occupants and dependent children of occupants; provided that the total number of tenants and occupants, excluding occupants' dependent children, does not exceed the number of tenants specified in the current lease or rental agreement, and that at least one tenant or a tenants' spouse occupies the premises as his primary residence."

It is important to note that §235-f (8) of this law, allows the landlord to restrict occupancy: "...in order to comply with federal, state or local laws, regulations, ordinances or codes."

So if there is a violation of the federal, state or local laws, regulations, ordinances or codes, and you are living in the house, you may be subject to an eviction proceeding to remove you from possession of the premises. It would be prudent to thoroughly conduct your "due diligence" on this property before signing a lease & moving into the house. You may also choose to have an attorney go over the relevant property records & the review the lease with you before you sign it. Good luck!     

  

Mark Siegel / Law Office of Mark A. Siegel

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the house is a 3 bedroom single family dwelling, before renting, it would be wise to obtain written verification from the local building dept, that the property is a legal 3 bedroom house.

There are landlords who add living space to a rental property unlawfully, without filing the required paperwork & without the issuance of proper permits from the local building dept. This can give rise to a violation of the property's certificate of occupancy & result in the issuance of a local code violation, which could require the property owner to discontinue the illegal use or file plans to legalize the alteration or addition. The owner may not wish to, or be able to, incur the expense involved in legalizing the illegal space. It is also possible that local law may not permit that type of alteration or addition to the property.

As far as the landlord restricting occupancy, NY Real Property Law §235-f governs unlawful  restrictions  on  occupancy. §235-f (2) states that: "It shall be unlawful  for a landlord to restrict occupancy of residential premises, by express lease terms or otherwise, to a tenant or tenants or to such tenants and immediate family. Any such restriction in a lease or rental agreement entered into or renewed before or after the effective date of this section shall be unenforceable as against
public policy." This NY statute became effective in 1983 and was amended in 1985.

Since you state that there are 2 adult couples with children, you should make sure you clearly understand that §235-f (4) states that: "Any lease or rental agreement for residential premises entered into by two or more tenants shall be construed to permit occupancy by tenants, immediate family of tenants, occupants and dependent children of occupants; provided that the total number of tenants and occupants, excluding occupants' dependent children, does not exceed the number of tenants specified in the current lease or rental agreement, and that at least one tenant or a tenants' spouse occupies the premises as his primary residence."

It is important to note that §235-f (8) of this law, allows the landlord to restrict occupancy: "...in order to comply with federal, state or local laws, regulations, ordinances or codes."

So if there is a violation of the federal, state or local laws, regulations, ordinances or codes, and you are living in the house, you may be subject to an eviction proceeding to remove you from possession of the premises. It would be prudent to thoroughly conduct your "due diligence" on this property before signing a lease & moving into the house. You may also choose to have an attorney go over the relevant property records & the review the lease with you before you sign it. Good luck!     

  


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