Profile picture for retiredgamer

What defines a 1 bedroom unit? (Shady listings)

I've gone out to look at properties that left me ranging from disappointed to outright raging due to "differences of opinion" in what defines a listing.  The worst case so far was an agency that was selling a "4 bedroom" apartment. In actuality, there was one bedroom, a living room with an attached kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and a basement with a den+ 2nd small kitchen. The guy insisted that the the single room in the basement and the main floor living room comprised the other 3 bedrooms.


More frequently, I've been seeing "1 bedroom + den" listings that were actually 1 bedrooms units with a living room and "one bedroom" apartments that were just studios.  



Is this legal? Even if it is, am I right to be upset about this sort of thing?  
  • October 05 2010 - Washington
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Answers (5)

Profile picture for sunnyview
It isn't legal or ethical to falsely advertise listings, but since the enforcement is almost non-existent dishonest people can take advantage. If the person is licensed, you can make a complaint with the state or District. If not, you can complaint to the FTC. The upshot is that they will continue to advertise this way until they are fined out of business or sued.
  • October 05 2010
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In most cities there is a requirement that a bedroom have a window & closet, but many sellers & listing agents will bring in a wardrobe closet in order to call it a bedroom.  A den/office usually doesn't have a closet or it is a room that has not been certified as a bedroom in the official records held by your local tax assessor, etc.
  • October 05 2010
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I'm sorry you have to go through this. I, as an agent, complety understand you. It's  furstrating to come to see a property and find out it's not what you expected. I started to look at sq ft. before I go to show it to my clients. If it's clamed 1 br. in Dupont cirle in DC and it's only 350sq.ft., I know, it's an efficency that most likely has a separation wall or a twin bed in a closet.
  • October 18 2010
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In CA it has to have a closet to be considered a bedroom.  A wardrobe does not constitute a closet. 

  • October 18 2010
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I agree with you!  It is very frustrating when an agent gives incorrect information.  In most states, the bedroom must have a built in closet to be considered a bedroom. An agent who knowingly does that is only hurting himself and is not doing his client any favors.
  • October 18 2010
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