Questions about occupancy laws in Iowa

Could you please post this for me? Question/Advice regarding occupancy laws. We’re a family of 7 living in Iowa, our kids are 4, 3, 2, 2, and 5 months. We recently had to renew our lease on our 3 bedroom apartment and I got a call stating we were above occupancy and would have to vacate. I did look up Iowa’s law and it states that 2 persons per each average sized bedroom, it doesn’t specifically state whether that’s child or adult. I honestly lied to the lady and told her my oldest doesn’t stay with us full time, which she doesn’t, but it is more than half, technically. But now I feel incredibly guilty. I’ve looked for 4 bedrooms the whole time we’ve lived here (3 years) and they’re rarely available in our area and when they are, they’re a good 1-2k above our budget plus utilities. We don’t have any other family and would be homeless without our apartment. Am I wrong for lying? Any advice any of you can offer? We’re currently saving up money and building our credit so we can buy a house in roughly 5 years.


I wouldn’t feel bad at all! You’re doing what you need to do to keep your family housed!


Usually it is 2 per bedroom plus 1.


No hun don’t feel bad, u r doing what u need to do to keep u n ur family happy and homed. I would of done the same as u if I was in ur shoes. Best wishes for u n ur family.:heart:

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Don’t feel bad at all. Do what you gotta do mama

Look up Iowa House File 134

Per hud is 2 per room plus one in a common living space

Tbh cause ur kids r so close in age u can put the 3 and 4 yr old in one room and the twins in one room and the 5 month old with u fir the moment. Bunk beds r a life saver in situations like that


Sometimes complexes like that have their own occupancy rules that can be more strict than state laws and you agree to follow those rules when signing the lease. Also, they can count the oldest child as an occupant whether you have them full time or not. You can attempt to appeal the decision in court or to a supervisor of the management company (if there is one) since they knew about all of you from the begining and rented to you anyway.
Hope things work out.

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You are legally over occupancy. The law does state 2 per bedroom. That includes adults and children alike. In order to be compliant with occupancy laws, you would have to get a 4 bedroom.

I can understand why you would lie, but you are risking losing your housing. Your landlord could very possibly find out your oldest lives with you more than half the time. This would be grounds for eviction which would make it harder to find housing in the future since some landlords don’t rent to tenants with evictions.


I never in my life heard of an occupancy law…

They can evict you Just so you are ok with that when they catch you


Better make that buying a house earlier than 5 tests. You’re breaking a law that they can evict you for. You might be able to find a house that’s a 3 bed

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As moms we do what is necessary to take care of our children. I’m not going to sit here and say lying is right but I’d tell people the sky is green till I’m blue in the face if that’s what I needed to do to keep my kids happy, healthy and safe :woman_shrugging:t4::woman_shrugging:t4:


Usually 2 to a room including the living room.

And for house purchase strategies look into Dave Ramsey.

I live in MN have 3 kids living in a two bedroom plus me and hubby. We tried looking into a three bedroom even tried buying houses ( no luck yet) the thing is my landlord said " as long as you pay your rent and our decent renters, I don’t care if u have twenty kids" the thing is it’s almost impossible to find a place with enough space when everyone seems to be looking also plus the cost of living. I’m paying 1073 for a small apt in rural MN

I live in Iowa. We were told when renting, per state law, one child per room.

You are doing a disservice to both your family your landlord and the community where u live. Rules are rules. Your landlord can be fined for over occupancy by the county or city. Teaching your children it is okay to lie because it benefits you is just wrong. If you at house your children properly don’t have them. How simple is that. Yes I’m a mother and I provide for my family legally without jeopardizing other peoples jobs and property. I know this sounds harsh but I am a property manager who sees this crap all the time and it gets old


What are you gonna do when your youngest is older? Apartment bedrooms aren’t big and that’s a lot of children to fit into a 3 bedroom.

Living rooms can count as bedrooms now. I was on section 8 and amazed they considered the living room a bedroom. Also, they wouldn’t let me upgrade a bedroom until my youngest was 5 years. So I think you’re good, especially since you have 5 under 5 years. I don’t understand how you’re being harassed by this. When I was in foster care one of the foster homes I visited had 3 bunk beds in a room for just the girls room. At the time they only had their own 2 daughters and 2 foster daughters and they had a son in a 3 bedroom house. So 4 teenage girls in a room with 3 bunk beds. 1 son (bio) and the 2 parents. In a three bedroom. Now maybe you live someone where they have their own rules in your lease, but as a whole in Iowa you should be fine in my opinion.