Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ February 2022

The Laws on Occupancy Limits, Parking in Our Neighborhood

By Linda S. Perlman

Maximum Permissible Occupancy for Homes and Apartments (or ‘How Many People Can Live in a House or Apartment?’)

The size of the home determines whether it is overcrowded.  Each dwelling unit must have at least 150 square feet of floor area for the first resident and 100 square feet for each additional resident of the house or apartment.  Each bedroom (“sleeping room”) of a dwelling unit with two or more rooms must have at least 70 square feet of habitable space for one occupant and must be at least seven feet in width.  If the bedroom is occupied by more than one person, then there must be at least 50 square feet of habitable space for each occupant.  Further, the sole access to any bedroom must not be through another bedroom.

Disclaimer:  This is not a complete listing of all space, use, location, and other requirements for a habitable house or apartment.  If the housing is rental, with a few exceptions, then it must be licensed by the County.

Parking (or ‘Why Can’t I Park in Front of My Own House?’)

How Are These Laws Enforced?

Enforcement is primarily by complaint.  The Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) handles complaints regarding rental licensing, rental housing conditions, exterior property maintenance, maximum occupancy, and unregistered and inoperable vehicles on private property.  Complaints about home occupations, the paving of front yards, and off-street parking issues are handled by the Department of Permitting Services (DPS).  Complaints can be filed through the County’s 311 service or online with the appropriate County department at  On-street parking complaints are made to the Montgomery County Police nonemergency phone number at 301.279.8000, to the 3rd District (Silver Spring) at 240.773.6800, or the 4th District (Wheaton) at 240.773.5500.

[Perlman, an attorney and president of the NFCCA, lives in the house she grew up in on Caddington Avenue.]   ■

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