An Ohio city council has proposed a rule that will have far-reaching effects on renters and landlords and that could infringe on their civil and private property rights. Brunswick, Ohio, city officials recently proposed that all adult renters in the municipal area would have to have their own bedrooms in any rental property if they are not related. Not surprisingly, the backlash has been widespread and immediate, with real estate professionals warning that the law opens every party involved to discrimination based on everything from investor status to religion and race.

One real estate professional called the proposed regulation a “Pandora’s Box,” noting that it would make it illegal for an unmarried couple to rent a one-bedroom home or apartment. City officials in favor of the bill argue that an appeals process is in place already and that the move would protect properties and increase tenant safety. “The goal here is to prevent a situation where we have eight, nine, 10 adults living in a two-bedroom house,” said Santo Incorvaia, assistant law director for Brunswick. He added that he hopes the ruling will help keep properties well-maintained and prevent disasters, and other supporters noted that “several other cities” have similar regulations in place.

At the heart of it, the proposed rule is likely a move to raise revenues. The ruling would require landlords to register with the city (and pay associated fees) and have their properties inspected every two years. However, it sets a dangerous precedent for future regulation and also sets the stage for abuse of power, should the local government decide to exercise its right, if the regulation were passed, to enforce it. This could hurt landlords and their tenants on just about every level imaginable.

You can read more of Carole VanSickle Ellis’ coverage of this and other topics at Self-Directed Investor News.

About the Author

Carole VanSickle Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a daily nine-minute investing podcast, and the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. Contact her at or visit

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  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at or reach Carole directly by emailing

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