Finding A Rental Apartment With A Child: What You Need To Know

If you have a new baby, you may have become discouraged. Some landlords may refuse to rent to parents with new infants, or my request that no one with small children apply. However, you should know that that might actually be illegal in your state. Before looking for apartments, you should know your rights.

There Are Legal Limits on Occupancy Restrictions

Every state has a legal limit on how many people can occupy a structure. A common restriction is that there can only be two people per bedroom. Thus, a one bedroom can support two people. A two bedroom can support four people. 

However, there are two things that are important. One, a landlord cannot set a restriction under that amount. If the legal limit is two people per bedroom in your state, the landlord cannot arbitrarily decide that only one person is allowed to live here. This is against laws intended to protect families.

Another issue is that generally a child is not considered to be a full adult person. A family of three, with two adults and one child, should be allowed in a one bedroom by state law, because there are still only two adults.

Roommates Will Matter

The above laws apply to renting an entire apartment. However, the laws do differ if a landlord is renting out a room in an apartment. If a landlord is renting out a room, that landlord is able to provide additional restrictions, such as not having children in their apartment. 

Thus, if you have children, you're more likely to get a favorable outcome if looking for an entire two bedroom apartment for rent, rather than looking for a larger apartment to share. 

You Shouldn't Lose Your Lease When Having a Child

It happens occasionally that a landlord might discontinue a lease because you are having a child. If you or your partner are currently pregnant, you might be concerned that you need to disclose this. However, a landlord cannot break a lease purely due to a child being born in the household.

There are many regulations that are specifically designed to protect new parents from being discriminated against. If you feel as though you're having a hard time getting an apartment because you have a child or because you are expecting one, you may want to contact a real estate agency or property management firm directly. They can help you find additional options.