Should I be able to limit the number of people in my rental if it is on a septic system is the question this week for Ask Landlord Hank. Remember Hank is not an attorney and is not offering legal advice. If you have a question for him please fill out his form below.
Dear Landlord Hank,
I like to limit the number of people living in my rental homes to a total of five, including children.
Reason is we have septic system. and that is what our septic company we use recommends.
We have three-bedroom homes. Is this a problem?
Dear Landlady Millie,
You can limit the number of people occupying your property rental as long as you comply with all relevant housing laws.
Check your state and local health and safety codes. They may support your limit on the number of occupants, but you can’t set unreasonably low figures to reduce wear and tear or noise.
Federal occupancy standards require landlords to allow two people per bedroom unless you have a legitimate reason for a lower number. In my mind, you do.
State and local occupancy standards may allow even more people in your rental than federal law does. If your occupancy policy limits the number of tenants for reasons other than health, safety or real legitimate business requirements, you risk being charged with discrimination against families.
Ask your septic company for something in writing covering their recommendations and why.
Each week I answer questions from landlords and property managers across the country in my “Dear Landlord Hank” blog in the digital magazine Rental Housing Journal. https://rentalhousingjournal.com/asklandlordhank/
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