Does a landlord have a legal right to limit the number of occupants in a rental property?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Does a landlord have a legal right to limit the number of occupants in a rental property?

It is a single family home.

Asked on September 23, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a landlord *could* limit the number of occupants in a rental property, as long as that limitation is part  of the lease. Leases often do, in fact, limit the number of occupants. However, landlords cannot simply, arbitrarily impose this limitation whenever they want: it must either be in the lease or in some other document to which the lease refers (e.g. in some sort of house rules, for multifamily dwellings). If there's no written lease, then its an oral lease, which means each lease term is  only one month; that in turn means that with one month's notice, the landlord could put an occupancy limitation in place. Also, if the proposed occupancy exceeds the zoning in some fashion, then the landlord couldn't allow it to occur, even if he or she wanted to.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, a landlord has a right to limit not only the number of tenants that can occupy the premises but the purpose for which the property is used, pets and any other provision deemed necessary and probably reasonable.  Remember that a lease is a contract between you and the landlord so you do have a right to negotiate the terms of the contract between you so think that through as well. But also remember that it is HIS property and he wants to make sure that it does not become a boarding house of sorts.  There may also be a local law or ordinance that prohibits the number of occupants as well.  Good luck.    


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption