Exclude couples?
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Exclude couples? (by Robin [WI]) Feb 2, 2023 7:05 PM
       Exclude couples? (by GKARL [PA]) Feb 2, 2023 7:34 PM
       Exclude couples? (by John... [MI]) Feb 2, 2023 7:38 PM
       Exclude couples? (by Robert J [CA]) Feb 2, 2023 9:06 PM
       Exclude couples? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Feb 3, 2023 12:52 AM
       Exclude couples? (by S i d [MO]) Feb 3, 2023 11:10 AM
       Exclude couples? (by Busy [WI]) Feb 3, 2023 2:04 PM
       Exclude couples? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Feb 3, 2023 3:42 PM
       Exclude couples? (by DJ [VA]) Feb 3, 2023 5:22 PM
       Exclude couples? (by Ken [NY]) Feb 3, 2023 5:36 PM
       Exclude couples? (by zero [IN]) Feb 5, 2023 8:10 AM
       Exclude couples? (by RentsDue [MA]) Feb 5, 2023 8:52 AM

Exclude couples? (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Feb 2, 2023 7:05 PM

I was talking to another rooming house owner today. He informed me that my "single occupancy" rule was illegal, that I could get sued for discriminating on the basis of "familial status." He also told me that I couldn't charge more for couples than for one person.

My argument back was that "familial status" regarded whether someone was married and/or had children. I'm just saying one person per room, because when you have a property with six bedrooms and one bathroom, it puts a heckuva lot of pressure on the bathroom! And two people use more utilities (which I pay for) and do more wear and tear.

Anyone have real world experience with this? Am I violating FHA guidelines by my occupancy limits and charging more for more people?


Exclude couples? (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: Feb 2, 2023 7:34 PM

There's an overall occupancy limit for my building and I limit the number of people in rooms using that. In the past, I've charged more for couples. At this point, I prefer singles.


Exclude couples? (by John... [MI]) Posted on: Feb 2, 2023 7:38 PM

My understanding is that "familial status" at the federal level means not discriminating against children. It would not be an issue if only adults are involved. But I believe that some states have expanded that beyond children.

I don't know for sure, as I don't rent that way. But I know that, in my city which is a college town, they absolutely do per-person rentals all the time where a couple would have to pay more than a single for the exact same unit.


Exclude couples? (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Feb 2, 2023 9:06 PM

I had a single no bedroom apartment in my 16 unit building. One daughter of my tenant turned 18 and she had an associate degree with a good job and salary. So she moved out from her mother's unit into the single unit.

Within 4 years she had hatched 3 children. There were occupancy laws on single NO BEDROOM units, but not after a tenant moved in. The the baby's daddy moved in. He stayed away because if he moved in, my tenant would make him pay some of the rent.

Then the daddy of the now 4 kids couldn't manage to pay half of the rent, with his gambling habits. So the daddy's brother moved in also, splitting the rent three ways.

SO in a no bedroom apartment designed for 1 person lived 4 kids and 3 adults. The City got word of this, after 6 years, and sent me a letter. How dare I provide such a small unit for so many people. I responded that I rented to a single women who then populated every corner of the unit and them some.

I was ordered to provide a larger unit for this tenant. So She was paying at the time $375 a month for the single. I offered her a 1 bedroom for $500, or a 2 bedroom for $695. She said she would take the two bedroom but at the $375 she was paying, could not afford more with 4 kids and 2 lazy men adults.

So I sued her, the two men, Housing, Section 8 and the City of L.A. Since I had offered her larger units and three able bodies people couldn't come up with $500 to $695 per month, then it was the tenants and the City that had to deal with these issues, not the landlord. This was back in 2002.

Now a day's the City would put me in jail for allowing this to happen, but if I tried to evict I can't because and dependent child is allowed to over populate a rental. --47.149.xxx.x

Exclude couples? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Feb 3, 2023 12:52 AM


Familial Status started as protecting pregnant women from a LL denying because she will stop working and and her new baby will wake the nieghbors.

It has evolve into anything the local committee wants it to be. The current version is "LL cannot define what is a family". Old weird Uncle Harry, Crazy Cuzin, live in boyfriend of the month, married, shacking up...

So yes, married is protected. (But so few renters are married these days!)

I suggest checking Health Code for required bedroom size per person. In Indiana the minimum is 75 sf for one person bedrooms, 125 sf for 2 persons.

(My parents would have been jailed! I slept with 3 or 4 of us boys in one bedroom!)

Also consider making the ONE PERSON rule for the entire building so you are consistent.



Exclude couples? (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Feb 3, 2023 11:10 AM

LEgal issues aside, why are you discussing this with the tenant? We all know tenants make up rules as they go along...usually to benefit themselves.

Example, I had a gal last month who can be contentious at times, who paid rent late. When I mentioned were we 1 day away from filing (Day 5 late... I file on Day 6), she responded, "Because you charged me a late fee I have an entire month to pay!"

What... the ... heck?!?!

I didn't respond. I simply waited to see if the money showed up the next day. It did, so I didn't file.

The truth is, I can file the day after rent is due. There is no Pay or Quit notice required and no mandatory grace period in Missouri LL/Tenant statutes or our lease.

But did I argue with her? No. It would be pointless, and my job isn't to give legal advice. My job is to make a profit in my business. Down the road, if she gets silly and tries to pay 10 days late, I'll let her keep thinking she knows the deal... that way when the process server shows up with court papers, a few days after she's paid, and she can be surprised and accept them rather than hide and refuse to answer the door.

Regarding the facts, I wouldn't take any advice from a tenant. We have just seen how screwy their views of the world, the law, and their lease obligations are. Just smile, nod, and do what you know is right. If in doubt, as a professional and/or research the law (state and local). Brad is most likely correct, but if you've got someone contentious I think it would be worth a $60, 10-minute call to your attorney to get the legit answer.


Exclude couples? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Feb 3, 2023 2:04 PM

Robin didn't mention discussing with a tenant, Sid. --70.92.xxx.xxx

Exclude couples? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Feb 3, 2023 3:42 PM


Great question for your LegalSheild atty. The entire year of dues would pay for this one phone call. I find them fantastically useful for odd questions like yours.


How did you find an atty who will take a call for only $60. Mine charges $55 just to READ the question I email to him, let alone respond.

BRAD --73.103.xxx.xxx

Exclude couples? (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Feb 3, 2023 5:22 PM

I think this other owner could learn some things from you. --68.229.xxx.xxx

Exclude couples? (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Feb 3, 2023 5:36 PM

Brad, you and Sid would pay your attorney for that? I have access to my attorney whenever i need him,i have closings going on all the time so i just email or talk to him at a closing but i never get a bill other than a normal closing --74.77.xx.xx

Exclude couples? (by zero [IN]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2023 8:10 AM

I get "free" advice from my evictions attorney as well. Makes his life easier the more I know.

I changed my lease years ago to state rent is due on XX day and is late one day after. I work with the tenants when signing the lease to make the due date work for them. After that they know when it is due and that one day late I can late fee them.

My court only allows 10% as late fees which I hate. One day or 29 days late costs them the same. That is another reason I will tell them I am filing if they don't get it in there asap.

Some I don't remind. Just not worth it. Especially since right now I am still in a somewhat hot market. Will see after this next turnover how hot it has stayed. --107.147.xx.xxx

Exclude couples? (by RentsDue [MA]) Posted on: Feb 5, 2023 8:52 AM

I have discussed this with a Fair Housing attorney in the past. I have a tiny apartment that is only legal for 1 person based on unit size. Even that it is only legal for 1 person, if I was to deny a pregnant woman or anyone with a child it could be grounds for a discrimination claim. Anything else ( two adults) would be looked at on a case by case basis. I was advised not to advertise single occupancy, just the square footage. I realize that is not helpful. --174.192.xx.xxx

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