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Tenant Limits

I have a single mother with four children wanting to move into our duplex that is about 900 square feet, two bedrooms, one bathroom.  I am concerned the unit is too small for the family.  Are there limits or guidelines to go by that I can reference?  This is for the State of Idaho.

There aren't restrictions necessarily as long as there are separated rooms  which can be used as bedrooms. You can always check with your local township to see if they have requirements before renting. With that square footage and the people that are living there as described you should be fine.
I have a 950 sf duplex and a similar family wanted to move in.  It was my opinion that 5 people in two rooms would be hard on the people, the house and the other duplex tenant, however it is not legal to set restrictions that discriminate against children.  In my case they also had a dog and a cat, and that was what closed the deal for us.  If you have several applicants you are able to choose whichever one you wish.  Here is a bit of language from another site about how to say no gently and legally.  "There seem to be a few extremely qualified applicants also being considered along with you. We'll let you know if anything comes through for you, but it doesn't look good at the moment. Just to be safe, keep looking."
Call your board of social services and ask if the county has any requirements for bedroom arrangements for children in the county.  For instance - boys and girls must have separate bedrooms or sleeping arrangements in MANY counties.  If your two bedroom is to house a variety of children (boys and girls) you would be legal to state the apartment does not have the required sleeping facilities for the "county" requirements.   Again, talk to your county social workers and ask them if they have a problem with boys and girls of certain ages sleeping in the same bedroom.  On the other hand, if a mom has 4 girls and they will sleep in two bunkbed sets, they may be ok.  ALSO:  Just FYI:  Per Diane M - although you are correct in that you CAN choose whoever you wish IF you have several applicants this does not STOP the rejected families from bringing discrimination charges against you.  (For instance, if you have 3 applicants, and you pick the one with the highest income, but ALL three meet your qualification - the other two may file a Federal discrimination against you and could win because they "were" qualified!     ALSO if you DO say (as Diane stated) " that there are a FEW qualified applicants ahead of them", be certain that's the case, because you WILL have to show evidence of this if they file a discrimination suit.  Again for a small property that gets families as prospective tenants, I would try to find a "legal" reason that the property is NOT suitable for the amount of children.  (Again, you cannot just discriminate because they have 4 children BUT again, if they have boys and girls of certain ages that cannot be in the same sleeping quarters, that is certainly "legal" to state to your applicants. LASTLY - google Idaho Tenant Landlord Act to become familiar with your state law.  However, it may not be specific to your concern.  ALWAYS have a good R.E. Attorney handy for these questions.  The $100 you pay for a 20 minute phone call is well worth it to keep you out of Federal court.
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