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Does a rental apartment need to have a specific minimum amount of floor space?

Does a rental apartment need to have a specific minimum amount of floor space?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2021 | landlord-tenant disputes |

Space is at a premium. Housing is difficult to find. Landlords may find themselves wondering just how much space they have to offer in a single rental apartment. Is there a minimum? 

Different cities and local governments set these restrictions. A good rule of thumb is that any single-room apartment should be at least 150 square feet. That’s the standard used in New York City. You can find that same square footage similarly echoed in other regulations, but they all do differ to some extent. 

How many people can live there?

One thing to consider is just what the market is for that space and how many people can legally live there. Restrictions may limit how many children can share a bedroom or how many adults can reside together, depending on its size. 

Therefore, even if you have an apartment that fits the minimum, that doesn’t mean you can rent it to just anyone. Someone who has too many children may not legally be allowed to live in that 150-square-foot apartment. They need more bedrooms and more floor space overall. Consider this when talking to prospective tenants. 

You also want to think about other necessities, such as fire escapes, windows, closets, bathrooms and the like. Some small spaces may seem large enough for a person to live in, but they may not qualify as a valid rental if they’re missing certain features. 

Knowing where you stand

As a landlord, you need to know where you stand in terms of codes you must abide by before renting out a unit. You’ll also need to know what legal steps to take if you wind up in a dispute with a tenant over any of these issues.