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How Many People Can Share a Bedroom?

According to the National Occupancy Standard (NOS), a maximum of two people can share a bedroom. Irrespective of their age, gender, and marital status, an individual can share a bedroom with their spouse or common-law partner. Any other household member over 18 years needs to have a separate bedroom. Single parents need to have a separate bedroom.

The NOS also states that:

  • Children under 5 years, either of the same gender or opposite gender may share a bedroom
  • Children under 18 years of the same gender can share a bedroom
  • A child aged 5 – 17 years should not share a bedroom with a child under 5 of the opposite gender.

According to the NOS, a private household should have enough bedrooms for the family based on:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Relationships among household members.

Canada takes overcrowding seriously, and too many people living in a room could cause health and safety issues, in addition to privacy concerns. As a result, there are limits on how many people could potentially share a room. When you know the minimum housing requirement based on your family’s size, you can select the size of house you need.

Having a larger family would mean having more bedrooms. This, in turn, would increase the cost of accommodation. When the cost of accommodation increases, the household budget increases too.

The size of the house you need depends on your family’s size and structure. For example, if you have a family of six with two parents and four daughters, you can select a three-bedroom room. However, if you have three sons and one daughter, you would need four bedrooms.

Three young children lying on a bed and reading a book. Their faces are blurred and their feet are clearly visible. Rules about children sharing bedrooms.
These guidelines define how many children can share a bedroom based on age and gender.

Is this Rule Enforced?

Occupants usually decide what is right for them based on their circumstances and budget.

In the case of rental housing, landlords cannot refuse to rent out their property because you have a family. However, they can limit the number of occupants based on the family’s size.

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What is Housing Suitability?

The number of bedrooms in a house refers to housing suitability. It is also called ‘persons per room.’

In addition to housing being a safe place to live, housing suitability ensures there are enough bedrooms for the family’s size and composition.

According to the National Occupancy Standard (NOS), a private household lives in suitable accommodation if there are enough bedrooms for the family based on age, gender, and relationships among household members. 

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What are the Advantages of Sharing a Room?

Sharing a room leads to efficient use of resources and reduces hydro and real estate costs.

Siblings who share a room spend more time with each other and develop a closer relationship. Those who share a room would learn how to share, compromise, and accommodate another person. 

Sharing a room when friends come over can cause conflicts among siblings.

Picture of four young happy siblings and a small baby. Rules about sharing a bedroom.

What are the Disadvantages of Sharing a Room?

Having separate rooms requires a bigger property, which will increase the cost of your home. At the same time, the hydro bill will increase as a family will use more lights, heating, and air conditioning.

If siblings share a room and are of different ages, their bedtimes might differ. An older child might end up with an earlier bedtime, or a younger child may end up sleeping too late. Concentrating on studies could become a challenge when siblings have conflicting schedules for study and playtime.

If siblings sharing a room have different personalities in terms of being clean, neat, and organized, it can lead to conflicts. If siblings are of different genders, privacy would be an issue, especially when getting dressed.

What to Consider When Deciding the Size of Your Home

When deciding the size of the house, think about your budget. You should be able to afford the property you will live in, including the cost of utilities. There are ways to create separate spaces by adding curtains and room separators.

Consider your children’s ages, gender, and personalities so that their safety, privacy, and sanity are not compromised.

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