Rental Occupancy: How Much is Too Much?

How many people can live in your rental property? I’m Kyle at TrueDoor Property Management. I understand that you want to limit the number of occupants living in your rental. More people can increase the wear and tear. But beware, this is a sensitive issue.

HUD gives us some basic guidelines. They say a property can have two people per bedroom, then add one more person to the total. For example, if you have a 2 bedroom, that’s two people for each bedroom, bringing you to four, then add one more person for a total of five. 

Beware that you must avoid language in your advertising that appears discriminatory to families. Remember that families are a protected class, so you can’t put your 3 bedroom up for rent and say “no large families”. 

The last thing you want is a HUD investigation, and they do happen based on complaints. Just stay away from mentioning anything about the number of allowed occupants when advertising your rental. 

When screening applications for your rental, you can use the guidelines provided by HUD if you see the number of people exceeds the two per bed, plus one rule. 

But what if a family of 6 applies and qualifies for your 3 bedroom home, then you find out six months later they are actually 12 people. Now you’re in a situation that’s hard to fix. The best way to handle this is to wait until the lease expires and have them move out.

Please be aware that you can only ask a tenant to move out at the end of the lease if the property does not fall under California’s AB 1482 or Rent Control law. Basically, if your rental is a duplex or more, you fall under AB 1482 and must have a “just cause” to give a tenant notice to vacate. If your rental is a home or condo that you personally own, it will not fall under this law and you can freely ask a tenant to leave at the end of their lease.