Laws about two children sleeping in one room

Updated November 21, 2016

No law exists concerning two children sharing the same bedroom in the U.S. Parents alone decide what accommodation is deemed appropriate for their children. Federal law and the Fair Housing Act does not allow discrimination regarding age, gender, race or disability; therefore, landlords cannot set rules about how many children can share a room or about brothers or sisters sharing. It is only when considering fostering does the government enforce rules regarding children sharing bedrooms.

Owned Accommodation

There is no given law about children sharing the same bedroom for homeowners. It would be problematic for the government to enforce a law, as a family might not be in the financial position to relocate to a larger property to accommodate more children. The state relies on parents to take sole responsibility for children's sleeping arrangements. It may be necessary from a practical perspective for parents of an increasing family to consider relocating to a larger property, or expanding the existing property to create more accommodation space for the family.

Rented Accommodation

Landlords of rented accommodation or housing associations may set standards regarding the rental of the accommodation, which may vary from one state to another, but it is illegal for any landlord to set terms and conditions that may discriminate against any individual. This means a landlord cannot stipulate and limit how many children can share a room, or forbid brothers and sisters from sharing. According to Housing Rights, the Fair Housing Act states that it is discrimination if "...the landlord has rules about adults sharing a room with a child or male and female children sharing a bedroom." The act also specifies that the landlord is not allowed to restrict how many people share a room.

Laws Regarding Fostering

According to the Office of Children and Family Services in New York State, if a family decides to foster children, a maximum of three children can share the same bedroom, irrespective of size. This is to ensure that siblings or half-siblings are not fostered separately. However, children of different sexes above the age of 7 require separate bedrooms in accordance with health and safety laws. But in Ohio, the state legislates that four children can share a room and that children of the opposite sex cannot share the same room over the age of 5. This indicates that laws regarding fostering do vary across states.

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