Sorry, I have a maximum of 3 people for that unit

I don’t know how many times I’ve said that in the past week. My unit is billed as both a 2+ and a small 3 bedroom, and totals about 1200 square feet including a large front porch. However, two of the bedrooms are quite small, and there is one common water heater for the whole duplex. That, and I live downstairs. I don’t really want a huge menagerie of people above me, for a multitude of reasons. So, I put a cap on the number of people I’ll accept. And I can’t believe how often I have to enforce it.

I get a lot of calls from families and single parents with several children — the low cost of the unit, and the large backyard are attractive to them. Most simply accept my limit of persons, but some people get quite angered by it. “I thought this was a 3 bedroom!” “The kids are small!” Others simply assume that it must not be very big, or ask my reasons for limiting the number of people. I of course answer simply that the unit isn’t very large, and there is one water heater for the whole duplex. Some people answer that that’s fine, and the kids don’t use much water, etc…… but my limit is still 3 people….

Some people who’ve called have actually wanted to fit 4, 5, 6, or 7 people into my little apartment. A mother with 5 kids; a woman, her boyfriend, her cousin, and 3 kids; a husband and wife with two school age children, and infant, two cats and a dog; a group of 5 college students… I understand that these people all need to live somewhere, but it won’t be in my upstairs. Sorry, folks, I am not running that kind of operation here.

I was actually discussing some of these calls with a friend, and he responded with “Shouldn’t you think about where you’re going to live before you go and have 5 kids?” Um, yes. Yes, you should.

My limit on the number of people isn’t completely in left field — the city has actually zoned all rentals in my area for no more than 3 unrelated persons (which would make the 5 college students scenario a violation of housing codes). There is no limit (that I’m aware of) for number of persons in a family structure.AND, sisters don’t count as “related” persons. They’re talking family unit only (so I guess if I had 4 sisters, and their mom wanted to move in, it would be cool with the city).

This limit on the number of people does automatically rule out a lot of families — which is fine with me. Again, I understand that families all need to live somewhere, but I’d rather not have kids banging around upstairs, crying/yelling and running around the back yard (yes, I realize that that makes me sound like an old lady). Someday I’ll have my own kids, and their noisiness will be something I’ll deal with, but I’d rather not deal with the noisiness of other people’s kids if I don’t have to. Legally, as an owner-occupant, I am not obligated to rent to families with children. However, I CANNOT tell them that that’s the reason I dont’ want to rent to them. Interesting, huh? Read this post for the full story.

Am I turning away potentially fine renters with this limit on the number of people? Yes. But I’m ok with that. This is a big city, and there are plenty of people looking for apartments. I need some bodies to fill the upstairs apartment and pay me rent, but as long as I live here, I’d rather that it be a pleasant living situation for me, as well.

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3 thoughts on “Sorry, I have a maximum of 3 people for that unit

  1. “Shouldn’t you think about where you’re going to live before you go and have 5 kids?” Um, yes. Yes, you should.”

    i think you’re forgetting that you can have everything in order one day then have an illness, lose your job and go from a high income to almost no income overnight. Even those who plan well can be beaten down by life. So it seems snobbish to assume that a family of five who is desperate for a place to live is a result of lack of planning. As someone who has worked with low income people and the homeless i find you friends comment to be quite offensive and out of touch.

  2. That’s a fair comment, Tristan. It’s true that life can take many twists and turns, and we never know what is right around the corner. While I have no intention of being snobbish, it still isn’t my job to take in anyone who shows up off the street and can’t demonstrate an ability to pay.

  3. This is probably a rellay good time to buy, but don’t forget that mobile homes DEPRECIATE, so it’s not as good an investment as buying even a small house . and you’ll still have the mobile home park fees. Maybe you should talk to a realtor and see if there’s a house you can rent-to-own. But BE SURE to have everything spelled out including how long a notice either of you has to give if you decide, for one reason or another, that you don’t want to continue buying the place together. Pay a lawyer to draw up a partnership agreement, for your own protection.

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