How Many People Can Live in a Studio Apartment? (And What to Consider)

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When you think of studio apartments, you probably think of small-scale, open-plan, and solo living.

You don’t think of families and roommates (or maybe you do, but you assume that anyone who shares a studio apartment is doing it out of necessity and not by choice.)

Generally, studio apartments aren’t ideal for more than two people.

But remember that not every studio apartment is a shoebox. They vary in size significantly and, in some instances, can be more than suitable for sharing. 

Personal preferences, your state, city, or landlord’s rules and restrictions all play a role in determining how many occupants are allowed in a single-roomed dwelling. 

The benefits of a studio apartment 

Studio apartment living is trendy, typically requires less maintenance, and generally costs less to rent (or purchase) than bigger multi-room units.

Normally, a studio apartment will suit solo living, but larger studio sizes allow friends, partners, students, single parents, and children to share the space.  

Before we touch on the laws and regulations around studio occupancy, let’s look at what is considered a studio apartment and the pros and cons of sharing a studio space. 

Consider the studio size and layout

Studios are, on average, 500 to 600 square feet (47 to 56 square meters) in size. But you can find bigger studios that are 800 or 1000 square feet (74 or 93 square meters) and smaller ones that are merely 200 to 400 square feet (19 to 37 square meters) in size. 

studio apartment customarily has one room that serves the purpose of a combined bedroom, kitchen, dining, and living room. The bathroom is generally the only separate space. You can, however, occasionally find studios with a separate alcove for dining or sleeping. 

Consider your preferences

A larger studio can typically accommodate multiple people comfortably. But if you’re claustrophobic or private, keeping the studio for yourself might be best. 

More often than not, studio apartments are best shared by one or two people—with a shove, maybe three. And it’s probably easier to share an open-plan space with a friend or partner than with a stranger. 

Maximizing your space with space-saving furniture, taking advantage of vertical space, and adding room dividers for privacy can help make a studio space more habitable for two. 

A studio with higher ceilings, lots of windows, and natural light may also appear roomier and more appealing, so bear this in mind when studio apartment shopping. 

Know your state and apartment building rules

Apartment occupancy limitations typically protect the apartment owner and those occupying them. 

You may want all your friends and family bunking with you in your studio apartment, but the law might not permit it. Avoid disappointment and know your studio occupancy limits before signing rental or purchase agreements.

Federal laws

The federal housing and urban development department has devised standards and regulations that outline the number of people who can safely occupy an apartment or studio. 

There’s a reason for these regulations. The more people that occupy an apartment, the more furniture the apartment will likely contain. This can be hazardous, especially if it locks studio exit in case of a fire or emergency.  

The more occupants, the more wear and tear the studio apartment will have to endure, which can also be very costly for an apartment owner. 

Note that many states or cities have their own laws and guidelines, so check out to view resources from your state that’ll guide you in the right direction. 

Your landlords’ restrictions

Landlords are also, within reason, able to limit the number of occupants in a studio apartment. Landlords have several considerations, such as overcrowding or sewer limitations (to name a few). 

Typically, two adults are allowed to occupy a studio apartment. But they might choose to limit the occupancy depending on space or configurations. 

Are children considered occupants?

Children are only considered occupants or a tenant once they reach the age of 18 years. Some landlords have, however, set age limits for when children count as apartment occupants. 

The fair housing act

The Fair Housing Act ( ensures landlords can’t refuse housing for discriminatory reasons. This suggests that each rental candidate’s unique situation needs to be considered before providing any occupancy restrictions. 

Even in a small studio apartment, a single parent with children should be allowed to rent as long as the studio remains safely habitable. 

Please note that a landlord should never be allowed to restrict how many visitors you are allowed to invite into your studio. This can be regarded as harassment and entirely unrelated to the occupancy laws in your state or city. 

There are many benefits from living in a studio apartment—it’s low maintenance, it’s typically cheaper than multi-bedroom properties, and it suits those drawn to minimalist living. But if you’re thinking of sharing your space, you’d be wise to do your homework before making that decision. 

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