What is a legal bedroom in Minnesota? This is a topic of some debate when looking at older homes. What is the minimum size? Does it need to have a closet? What is the definition of an egress window? I reviewed the Minneapolis Ordinance Code for the following definitions. I will make an assumption that many other cities have similar definitions.
To be a legal bedroom in Minnesota it must have the following qualities/requirements (I am paraphrasing from the Minneapolis City code):
- Every sleeping room below the 4th floor shall have at least one (1) window or exterior door approved for emergency exit or rescue.
- Any window used for egress must have at least 6 square feet of glass.
- The window must open at least 20 inches in width and 24 inches in height to allow egress.
- The window must not be more than 48″ from the floor.
- All habitable rooms must be provided with natural light by means of windows or skylights with not less than 1/2 of the required window/skylight area shall be operable to provide natural ventilation.
- Every window opening to an outdoor space must have a screen and any door opening to an outdoor space must have a screen door with self-closing device.
- There must be at least 2 separate floor or wall duplex electrical outlets available in the room.
- Habitable rooms shall have heating facilities that can safely and adequately maintain the room at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit between October 1 and April 13th.
- At least one-half of the floor area of every habitable room shall have a ceiling height of seven and one-half (7 1/2) feet. However, in 1.5 story homes attic type bedrooms may be located above the first floor of each dwelling unit if such attic type bedrooms have a minimum ceiling height of not less than 7 feet over fifty 50% of its floor area and shall be provided with a stairway in full compliance with the building code.
- Rooms used exclusively for sleeping purposes shall have the following minimum superficial floor area: 70 square feet for one person, 90 square feet for 2 persons and the required superficial floor area shall be increased at the rate of 50 square feet for each occupant in excess of 2. However, occupancy of a sleeping room shall not exceed 4 persons.
So what about the closets??? I was unable to find anything in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, or Section 8 code even mention a bedroom needing a closet. I do know that many people believe they do and I have even had some Section 8 inspectors tell me they needed a closet. I do know that FHA and VA require closets to consider it a bedroom, but I was unable to find anything in writing saying that when renting, you need a closet to consider it a bedroom. If you can find anything in writing, add a comment to this post with the URL of where you found the rule.