In Milwaukee the city enforces a prohibition against occupancies with more than three unrelated people. The answer on where in the code this resides is a bit convoluted, but this is how the city arrives at that answer:
200-08-74. ROOMING HOUSE means any building or part of any building or dwelling unit occupied by more than 3 persons who are not a family or by a family and more than 2 other persons for periods of occupancy usually longer than one night and where a bathroom or toilet room is shared.
If you meet this requirement you must have a rooming house license. Now if each person has a bathroom and they promise not to pee in the other person’s bathroom can you have as many occupants as bathrooms? I would think so.
200-8-33. FAMILY means, unless otherwise specified, a person occupying a dwelling unit, or dwelling unit with one or more persons who are legally related to such occupant by virtue of being husband or wife, son or daughter, mother or father, sister or brother, uncle or aunt, grandparent, grandchild, niece or nephew, first-cousin, mother-in-law or father-in-law, all of whom comprise no more than one nuclear family unit per household. Included in the term family are 4 or fewer legally assigned foster children, except that more than 4 may be legally assigned if all are related to one another as brothers or sisters. Family also means a domestic partnership of 2 individuals who meet all conditions of s. 350-245-3-a to e and at least 3 of the conditions of s. 350-245-5
As mentioned in the last post, WI Fair Housing recognizes housing code occupancy restrictions based on quantity of people. It does not appear to recognize ordinances based on relationship of the occupants:
106.50(5m)(e) It is not discrimination based on family status to comply with any reasonable federal, state or local government restrictions relating to the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling unit.
Are you breaking state law in complying with the city code? Who knows, but it seems like the city ordinance conflicts with the Fair Housing law.
Occupancy standards, yours or municipalities’ should be based on the number of occupants and not their relationships. There are a couple of good, interesting U.S. Supreme Court cases on the issue. Justice Marshall wrote a very interesting dissent in Belle Terre v. Boraas, 416 U.S. 1 (1974) which was prior to the inclusion of familiar status protections
The most relevant part of Belle Terre dissent:
MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL, dissenting.
The instant ordinance discriminates on the basis of just such a personal lifestyle choice as to household companions. It permits any number of persons related by blood or marriage, be it two or twenty, to live in a single household, but it limits to two the number of unrelated persons bound by profession, love, friendship, religious or political affiliation, or mere economics who can occupy a single home. Belle Terre imposes upon those who deviate from the community norm in their choice of living companions significantly greater restrictions than are applied to residential groups who are related by blood or marriage, and compose the established order within the community. The village has, in [416 U.S. 1, 17] effect, acted to fence out those individuals whose choice of lifestyle differs from that of its current residents.
A more recent case is Edmonds v. Oxford House, 517 U.S. 725 (1995) also is a good read