in-law apartments

door (2)There are a lot of words and phrases that I can not use to describe housing. I even had to explain to someone why I could not market his condo as a bachelor pad or a place for a single man or woman. Federal fair housing laws forbid any mention of anything or anyone human when marketing a property for sale.

There are some exceptions we  still have “family rooms” even though we can not advertise a home as being a great place for a family or to raise a family in.

We still distinguish between single family and multifamily dwellings but can not discriminate against a homebuyer based on family status.

It wasn’t that long ago that we could list a home on the MLS as having a “mother-in-law’ apartment. Yesterday I noticed the drop down menu options have changed and we now only have “in-law” apartments. I guess the units can be used for a mother-in-law or a father-in-law which pretty much leaves out people who were never married and do not have any in-laws.

I did a little research and I believe we can still use the term multi-generational when we refer to housing. I would think that would be OK because the generations don’t have to be from the same family. Multigenerational is more inclusive than “in-law”.

People have gotten used to searching for homes with mother-in-law apartments. We need to start calling them “secondary units” or in some cases “studio or efficiency” apartments that are part of a larger home. They usually have a private entrance and are somewhat private.

I know people who live in a home with a secondary unit in it and they rent the unit out to someone that they are not related to in any way.