Is selling a 3Br house as a 4Bdr house legal?

I can’t believe it. The house in Florida I was looking at is listed at a 4/3 and after inspecting it it’s only a 3/3. Yet, they are trying to sell it as a 4 bed room.

Isn’t that illegal ? :shocked

It depends. They are OK if the room meets the qualifications for a bedroom.

The room has no door and no closet. It’s a small space with 3 walls.

I thought a bedroom needed a closet and door?

I have yet to find a jurisdiction that requires a bedroom to have a closet or a door. The only requirements I have seen for doors relate to exterior, screen and bathroom doors. The code usually defines minimum space requirements and the room will not qualify if it is too small. The most common rule I have seen is 70 sf for the first person and 50 sf for each additional. Many also require the ceiling height to be 7 feet.

Check your local code and then compare it to the room. That will give you the answer.

Thanks for the fast response!

just a newbie question… where’s the best place to find the code? Is it by city , county, state?

Start with the local building inspector or health department.


Start with the city. Please let us know what you find out, okay? Share. I would try the office of the building inspector first.

The number of bedrooms factors into the home value when an appraisal is done. Maybe an appraiser on this site will weigh in with what the appraisal standards are for bedroom vs. den or just an extra room.

I just added a closet to a small extra room in my house. At my refinance appraisal coming up I am hoping it will be called a bedroom, thus making the house 3-bedroom. I need that higher comp value to get nice, bright, shiny, new LOW INTEREST re-financing.


Hey all,

I called the local city and asked them where to find the code. According to the code they sent me. Document : “International Property Maintenance Code 2006” Chapter 4 … it doesn’t even state that a bedroom has to have a closet or door.

I’m a little confused by it.

Maybe I’m missing something? Where did the closet code come from?

I did just speak to the previous owners of the house, and they told me that the house was always a 3 bedroom house - never a 4 bed room house.

Isn’t there some legal action that can prevent this fraud?

There is no closet code. People just assume there is.

Actually you do not need a closet door, you can put in a stand alone closet check like Sauder makes you put together. However Section 8 I believe defines a bedroom as a room with a door, closet(wether built in or added) and a window. I think that may even be in a code as it is a room that someone will sleep in and you must have to exits available in case of fire.

Also in Florida, espcecially older homes people change things and never get them updated with the city or inspections done correctly. Honestly I do not think its such a big deal. If you want to sue, its your money and you will not really win any.

I live in SoFL, my home was built in 1959. I am the third owner and the original owners built a family room which is yet to make it on the county tax records so my home is really about 800 sq ft bigger. Also the carport was converted to a 2 car garage and that is not recorded either.

In Chicago there has to be a door, closet and a window that is on an exterior wall. Other wise it’s just a den or simple a “bed-space”

Can anyone tell me where to find out about room specification, regulations of Scotts Valley homes & Capitola beach homes. It’ll be a great help.

What about your county tax assessor’s office? What’s their criteria for bedrooms?

Start with the building or health code.


Actually bedrooms and closets are part of Occupancy Code.

Actually across the country builders build homes that have buyer options, loft or fourth bedroom. When the template of the loft is designed to accommodate a fourth bedroom the house is actually designed as a 4 bedroom which has an optional loft instead of a bedroom.

Walls can be installed exactly as the builder designed as an owner at any point in the future.

Good luck,