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Old 02-09-2009, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
523 posts, read 1,979,705 times
Reputation: 343

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I am looking to rent my house in Charlottesville, VA. I had been working with a property management company for the past few years but I fired them last week after they weren't able to rent my house and I felt like they were taking advantage of me on a bunch of expenses.

I am looking to rent out the various bedrooms in the house to various people (having a hard time finding one family to rent the whole thing). What are the laws on total number of non-related people living in a house? It's a 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath house. Can I rent to four roommates?

Also, one of the prospective tenants has a pitbull puppy. She swears up and down that it's the sweetest dog (I had a roommate who had a pitbull mix once that really was the sweetest dog). I personally have no problem with this but not sure what the pitball laws are. I think that certain counties don't allow them but I'm not sure.

Any help on either of these two questions would be appreciated.

Thanks!
Anu
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:21 AM
 
850 posts, read 2,853,129 times
Reputation: 642
You'll have to check with your area for occupancy regulations, but the standard is 2 people per bedroom.

As far as the pit bull, you should be alright to accept it, but you should check with your insurance company. Sometimes this will affect your rate and I've even heard of people being dropped from their insurance for having certain breeds.

My advice is not to allow it. Sure, it can be the sweetest thing, but it's still an animal and you just never know. They're restricted in most apartment communities for a reason. Plus, if you're looking to rent out the house by the bedroom, I wouldn't allow a pet at all. You could turn off other potential renters, plus you can get yourself into a big gray area in terms of damages that could leave you footing the bill since there are too many people involved.

Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:28 AM
 
37 posts, read 190,619 times
Reputation: 25
There are numerous issues involved in renting to multiple, unrelated people. You should really try to network with some landlords who have been there, done that. Potential problems could range to determining who to hold responsible for damages to figure out how to settle dormitlory-like disputes regarding bathroom, kitchen and music playing priviliges.

I have a friend who manages this well. She has three couples in a 3BR house and it works out fine. But in this case the landlord is able to keep a keen eye on things -- because she lives in the house next door!

Good luck.

Cigar
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
523 posts, read 1,979,705 times
Reputation: 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babytarheelz View Post

My advice is not to allow it. Sure, it can be the sweetest thing, but it's still an animal and you just never know. They're restricted in most apartment communities for a reason. Plus, if you're looking to rent out the house by the bedroom, I wouldn't allow a pet at all. You could turn off other potential renters, plus you can get yourself into a big gray area in terms of damages that could leave you footing the bill since there are too many people involved.

Good luck!
Thanks for the advice. I called my HOA to see what they thought and they are looking into the bylaws but I think my HOA may not even allow the breed in the neighborhood. There may even be a rule against Rottweilers, German Shepards, and Doberman Pinchers! It's funny because I've had one former roommate who had a pitbull mix and another who had a German shepard live with me. I had no issue with their dogs but I certainly don't want anyone getting hurt so I guess I'll have to say now ! This sucks. I feel bad for the girl--it's going to be tough for her to find a place that allows pitbulls, I think.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
523 posts, read 1,979,705 times
Reputation: 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cigar56a View Post
There are numerous issues involved in renting to multiple, unrelated people. You should really try to network with some landlords who have been there, done that. Potential problems could range to determining who to hold responsible for damages to figure out how to settle dormitlory-like disputes regarding bathroom, kitchen and music playing priviliges.

Cigar
I hear you on this but desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess! It's definitely more of a pain to have multiple roommates renting as opposed to one lease but my property has been sitting vacant for over a month and I'm just not getting too many hits for the full house. Pain in the butt! I think the economy has a lot to do with this since no one can afford large rent payments now, it seems.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:19 AM
 
8,424 posts, read 24,497,706 times
Reputation: 5918
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babytarheelz View Post
You'll have to check with your area for occupancy regulations, but the standard is 2 people per bedroom.

As far as the pit bull, you should be alright to accept it, but you should check with your insurance company. Sometimes this will affect your rate and I've even heard of people being dropped from their insurance for having certain breeds.

My advice is not to allow it. Sure, it can be the sweetest thing, but it's still an animal and you just never know. They're restricted in most apartment communities for a reason. Plus, if you're looking to rent out the house by the bedroom, I wouldn't allow a pet at all. You could turn off other potential renters, plus you can get yourself into a big gray area in terms of damages that could leave you footing the bill since there are too many people involved.

Good luck!
I thought it was 2 plus 1 per bedroom (federal)?
Or did the change it?

I would be nervous to take a roommate with a dog. I would worry about being held liable in lawsuits if the dog burst out the door because thats just what dogs do...and if it was you doing the door opening... I'm sure some lawyer would blame you directly.Every pitt bull I met was a sweetie. Even the strays that scared the crap out of me as I thought they were going to attack me. Running full speed at me...Just to sit at my feet and make me pet them! Isn't that so cute? Well I was lucky so if you do get dog girl as a roommate...Make sure you figure out crating rules and kiddie gates to keep the dog away from the main doors.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:47 AM
 
850 posts, read 2,853,129 times
Reputation: 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitt_transplant View Post
I thought it was 2 plus 1 per bedroom (federal)?
Or did the change it?
There's not a "law" regarding occupancy limits. There are federal guidelines which say an acceptable standard to comply with Fair Housing is 2 per bedroom, but they leave it up to states, local municipalities and the landlords to adjust the guidelines as they see fit (Keating Memo). I have worked in communities where 2 per bedroom plus 1 was the rule because the square footage of the unit allowed adequate space for the extra person.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:16 PM
 
14,220 posts, read 26,484,274 times
Reputation: 8375
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitt_transplant View Post
I thought it was 2 plus 1 per bedroom (federal)?
Or did the change it?
Local Housing Authorities I've worked with use 2 per bedroom plus 1 formula.

So under the formula... a one bedroom unit is not overcrowded with 3 occupants.

Building Departments also have formula's based on bedroom size and overall square footage...

Lots of Rental Property owners I know use the 2 + 1 rule as "Safe Harbor"
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Up in the air
19,126 posts, read 15,232,411 times
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I live in a 5 bedroom house, and at one time we had 8 people living there... it was miserable. It gets really difficult to keep track of that many people, especially when everyone has different work schedules, invites guests over at different times, plays different kinds of music etc. Especially around the first of the month when rent is due...everyone seems to disappear, and I had to track them down. Now, we have 5 people (although me and my bf rent two of the rooms ourselves, we have a lot of crap) and it's great

I think a lot of it depends on how large the actual house is, instead of just number of rooms. Our house is very large and has acreage, plus an rv garage and a 2 car garage, so we all have PLENTY of room to avoid each other if we want If you have a 3 bedroom apartment, I definitely wouldn't recommend more than 3 people. There just isn't enough room.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
523 posts, read 1,979,705 times
Reputation: 343
The house I'm renting is about 2,400 sq. ft. with 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths. I was hoping to rent to 4 people but for some reason I had it in my head that maximum occupancy limits for UNRELATED people was 3 people. Maybe I made that up?
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