Occupancy Standards

Occupancy issues are covered by many sections of the City of Madison Ordinances and State codes. This is a complex issue and the information below should be used only as a guideline. 

  • In a single-family owner occupied dwelling unit, occupied by a family (mom, dad, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles) anywhere in the City of Madison, there is no limit on the number of family occupants.  The family can also have up to four roomers depending on parking and other issues. There are no space requirements.
  • In a single-family rental dwelling unit, occupied by family (mom, dad, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc) anywhere in the City of Madison, there is no limit on the number of family occupants. The family can also have one roomer depending on parking and other issues in the R1, R2, R3 and R4A zoning districts.   The family can also have up to four roomers depending on parking and other issues in the R4, R5 and R6 zoning districts. There are no space requirements.

If the dwelling units listed above are in buildings with two or more dwelling units they are not single-family and the following space requirements also apply:

  • In a building containing two or more dwelling units, in addition to the above owner/rental requirements the dwelling units must also meet the following space requirements.  150 sq. ft. for the first occupant and 100 sq. ft. for each additional occupant. To determine the occupiable area for the dwelling unit take the total square footage and subtract the area of closets, hallways, bathrooms and utility rooms.  Bedrooms, dens, studies, dining rooms, and kitchens count towards the occupiable space.
  • In a building containing three or more dwelling units, in addition to the above owner/rental and space requirements the dwelling units must also meet the following space requirement. The units must contain 400 cubic feet of sleeping area per adult and 200 cubic feet of sleeping area per child.  This translates to two adults in a 10 by 10 bedroom assuming a standard eight-foot ceiling.  The same size bedroom could accommodate four children.
Last Updated: 06/18/2013

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