A reader asked a question about the relationship between familial status (families with children) discrimination and occupancy standards (how many people can live in an apartment). Added to the Fair Housing Act as a protected class in 1988, "familial status" means that management cannot (except for certain communities designated for age 55 and older) exclude families with children from an apartment.
That does not, however, mean that a family of five can live in a one bedroom unit. For legitimate reasons related to safety and wear and tear, the general rule on occupancy standards (confirmed by what was known as HUD’s Keating Memorandum back in the 1990’s) was a two person per bedroom limit was presumed to be reasonable. In other words, a family of four could live in a two bedroom apartment.
Over the past number of years, however, the rules on occupancy standards have changed. Some states and localities have changed their laws to provide that a "two plus one" person per bedroom standard is appropriate. Recent guidance from HUD provides that management needs to evaluate the size of the entire apartment when deciding about the specific occupancy standard for a unit. As such, while a two person per bedroom standard might be absolutely appropriate for smaller apartments, if the unit has a den or large rooms, a "two plus one" standard could be reasonable.
I don’t like giving responses that include "it depends" in the answer, but it really does in this case.
Just A Thought.