|I was concerned about the lack of occupancy limits in our docs and the exposure this creates, for example a homeowner renting their unit for use by 10 or 20 people. |
My thought was that an amendment to our docs was needed e.g. 2 people per bedroom per the HUD Notice of Statement of Policy FR Doc. 98–33568.
However, while researching the matter further, I found that our Palm Beach County Property Maintenance Code has our back.
Section 14-44 (c) Occupancy Limitations - Area for sleeping purposes: Every habitable room used for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain at least 70 square feet of floor area, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one person shall contain at least 50 square feet of floor area for each occupant thereof.
Doing the math, this works out just fine for us per the table below.
|Townhome Models ||Bedroom 1 ||Bedroom 2 ||Bedroom 3 ||Maximum |
| Islander ||178 ft2 = 3P ||126 ft2 = 2P ||056 ft2 = 0P ||5 People |
| Villager ||168 ft2 = 3P ||102 ft2 = 2P ||102 ft2 = 2P ||7 People |
|Condo Models || || || || |
| Royal Poinciana ||144 ft2 = 2P ||105 ft2 = 2P ||NA ||4 People |
| Laurel Oak ||107 ft2 = 2P ||105 ft2 = 2P ||NA ||4 People |
| Grand Cypress ||150 ft2 = 3P ||105 ft2 = 2P ||100 ft2 = 2P ||7 People |
Enforcement is handled by the Palm Beach County Code Enforcement Division and can be reported by anyone by filing a complaint.
Bottom line, I think we have a strong occupancy posture due to the Palm Beach County Property Maintenance Code.
History - The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, financing or advertising of dwellings based on race, color, religion, sex, or familial status. It also provides that nothing in the Act limits the application of reasonable State or Federal regulations on the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling.
However, there were no set standards or guidance as to what occupancy restrictions were reasonable under the Fair Housing Act.
In 1991 HUD General Council Frank Keating wrote an internal memorandum which has become known as the Keating Memo. It stated that an occupancy standard of 2 persons per bedroom will generally be considered reasonable under the Fair Housing Act. It addresses the issue of occupancy standards as a pretext for familial status discrimination. He stated that this policy was rebuttable and that HUD officials should use other standards as well.
In December 1998 HUD introduced other factors that investigators could use, such as, design and size of rooms, ages of children, and state and local ordinances concerning occupancy.
In 1998, Congress passed the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act which drove HUD to publicly adopt the Keating Memo. Section 589 says that the memo should be HUD’s official occupancy standard.