How crazy of an idea is this? My family is moving from Georgia to LA in a few months and I’d love to rent a 1 bedroom apartment for the first year.

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For reference, both kids currently sleep in our king size bed (fun, I know). My 6 year old has special needs, the 2 year old is still nursing and is very much attached to us. We own our home and they currently have their own room/beds but never, ever sleep in them. My partner stays home with the kids and does schooling, daily outings/activities, etc. They are either doing something at home or are out and about each day.

I’m trying to figure out if 1, this is a feasible idea overall (whether or not it’ll feel too tight, etc) and 2, if it’s reasonable that a landlord will rent a 1 bedroom unit to a family of 4.

Thanks in advance!


Max allowable occupancy of a 1 bedroom is 3 people so you’d have to find a landlord that’s okay with violating occupancy laws.

It will be very difficult to find a landlord that will allow this, as it is illegal. However, there are plenty of families that live with 4+ people in a 1 bed in LA. Unfortunately, you will probably have to live in a low-income neighborhood in an old, run-down, slumlord-run place to get away with this. The major property management companies won’t allow it, and most small mom-n-pop landlords I’ve come across are very diligent selecting tenants and following housing rules.

Didn’t know about the legality laws. A lot of people in LA live in overcrowded housing though, so someone is making exceptions or people aren’t getting put on leases.

definitely consider square footage and not just number of rooms when looking at apartments. One bedroom can mean pretty tiny or fairly spacious.

from previous rental searches, I’ve found that 2 bedrooms aren’t usually priced that far above one bedrooms and may give your family some room to spread out. Even if you all end up sleeping in one room, it may be nice to have space if one of you wants to be alone to play, work, or whatever else.

also consider what kind of outdoor space you’re looking for. In apartments this can be difficult, but finding a building with a closed off yard where the kids can play or a lot of green space might alleviate the need for a bigger apartment.

Adding to this: get ready for some tiny, tiny bedrooms. You will have trouble finding master bedroom in a house sized.

Have you checked out the pricing for apartments in LA or the areas that you would hope to live in yet? If you are coming from a 3 bedroom house in GA to a 1 bedroom in LA, with a special needs 6 yr old and a nursing baby, I would not say it would be an ideal situation for you or for your neighbors. I know I have heard of 4 people living in a one bedroom, but please check out the possibilities before moving! I’ve heard many people from out of state talk about how they had no idea how incredibly expensive it is here, and how far everything is, or how much time it takes to get from point A to point B. Good Luck.

Yeah, its doable. Parents in the bedroom, kids in the living room? I know a couple people who have small families in a one bedroom. If you can do 2 bedroom it will probably be more comfortable though, especially if you are used to having a house. Good luck with the move!

I would check your budget and rents near your new job first. It's pretty hard for most people to get by on a single income with two kids in LA unless you are making quite a bit or don't mind living in some less than ideal conditions.

I would look into “loft style” one bedrooms as the second floor may give you some extra space and privacy if needed.

One time I took in my homie and his family when they became homeless. To help them get on their feet.

I had 8 people total living in my 2 bedroom 2 story townhome apartment for like 2 months. Me and my 2 family members and my homie and his 4 family members. They all slept on the living room floor and on the couches. We had a lot of fun though.

When I was a kid my friends family pulled it off. My family had 5 people in a house the size of a 1 bedroom apartment. Its doable but not ideal. Looking back on it I dont know how we pulled that off.

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Totally doable. People all over the world live in much smaller spaces than you would be living in. Invest time in taking your kids out and exploring every day and then come home to a small, cozy space. You’ll be fine. Americans and their need for max space is unique and honestly a little weird.