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Topic: Sorry!! RE: OT Three unrelated tenants (3 msgs / 103 lines)
1) From: MSMB
Sorry, I sent to the wrong list!!  I own a rental property--just one--and it
is a large house that I rent to students.  I have 3 really excellent tenants
now but they want to leave because they want a fourth roommate, which is not
permitted.  I don't blame them; they leave lots of space unoccupied (the
formal dining room is a storage room now).  The tenants tell me that many
landlords "look the other way," and I know that they do, but I really prefer
keeping things legal.  It really sickens me; I know that lots of student
rentals are a disaster but there are young people who are just young adults
capable of conducting themselves like substantial citizens.  In any case I
want to better understand the law; not even to fight it but just wondering
if there is some compromise that might protect everyone's rights.  Sorry for
the intrusion on the list!

2) From: Allon Stern
On Mar 3, 2008, at 10:26 PM, MSMB wrote:
<Snip>
One extra room for the USRC roaster, one room for the stash....
Oh wait, these are STUDENTS.
Umm, nevermind.
-
allon
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3) From: Oolan Zimmer
MSMB wrote:
<Snip>
I'm not a lawyer, and I don't play one on TV.  I don't even play one on
the net.  I live near Champaign-Urbana, IL, a college town, so all of
this is based on my experiences as a tenant and later a landlord in that
area.
I've seen two off-the-record justifications for these types of laws. 
First, they want to make life difficult for "party animal" students, and
lump quiet responsible law-abiding students in with those, umm, less so
students.  Second, they want to make life difficult for those of lower
economic background who try to pack 15 people into a 2-bedroom
apartment.  They may also be trying to make it difficult to rent to any
students in that area.
This varies by jurisdiction, but usually these laws are actually zoning
regulations.  In my area, the zoning regulations for the "3-family" zone
say no more than 3 unrelated people per structure or some such. 
"Multi-family" zones don't have this restriction, but those zones cause
large apartment complexes to be built in student areas.  Check the
current zoning maps, because they do get changed from time to time and
you might not be as restricted as you think.
You can't knowingly rent to 4 or more unrelated individuals in a
"3-family" zone.  To the landlord, that means you can't have 4 names on
the lease unless 2 of them are willing to claim they're actually related
(part of the same family).  Of course, since you're a good landlord and
don't violate your tenants privacy, you might not notice if a 4th person
visited so much that they helped out with the rent and had their own
room and stuff... ;-)
Of course, this isn't legal advice.  If you want legal advice, contact a
tenant/landlord relations lawyer in your area.  If there's an
organization that helps tenants fight bad landlords in your area, you
can drop by and explain your problem and they can either give you a more
informed opinion or they can refer you to a lawyer who can give you an
opinion.  In my area, it's called the Tenant's Union, and they like to
see landlords ask how to be responsible because it means those landlords
will be responsive if someone comes to them with a complaint.
-- 
Oolan Zimmer
ozimmer
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