What constitutes a bedroom in MN? Can a realtor claim a room is a bedroom if it doesn't have a finished closet? It has a cement small room not a

Asked by Susie, 37341 Thu Aug 12, 2010

close Each bedroom has regular closets, but this room is almost like another communal room withh an unfinished storage area. The realtor said I could put a rack in the area for clothes. That's not a closet. Just another quick question. Can a realtor claim two bathrooms when it's 1 1/2, and they are writing an ad not having to choose between one and two bathroom?

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Jennifer Kir…, Agent, Minneapolis, MN
Thu Aug 12, 2010
What constitues a legal bedroom is up to each city and not having a closet does not mean it cannot be described as a bedroom. What most cities say a bedroom must have to be a legal bedroom is an egress window. You should call the city for the property you have a question on and ask them what they consider a legal bedroom.

For instance, in a listing I had two years ago, the home had a pass through bedroom to get to another bedroom. The home was built in the 1880's. I spoke with the Head Inspector of the City and he said as long as it had an egress window, the pass-through room could be called a bedroom, and in fact it didn't have to have a closet either to be called a bedroom in that city.

As for the bathrooms, our MLS system here in the Twin Cities in general advertises the number of bathrooms, not whether they are partial or not, and a buyer can only see actual bathroom types by going deeper into the listing information. When I create ads for my listings seperate from the MLS, I do accruately describe the bathrooms as 1, 3/4, or 1/2. I wish our MLS did the same as it would make it easier for buyers when searching.
1 vote
Patrick Howa…, Agent, Edina, MN
Thu Aug 12, 2010
Hi Susie,
Regarding the bathrooms- when realtors enter information into MLS to list a propert it asks for the number of bathrooms of each style, such as 1/4 1/2 3/4 and Full. So a home with a 1/2 bathroom and a full bathroom will be stated as having 2 bathrooms- which it does. Further into the listing information it will state what the style of each bathroom is.
While its common myth that a bedroom has to include a closet, it doesn't. Here's information on what constitutes a bedroom in Minnesota.

• A bedroom shall have a floor area of not less than 70 square feet (measure length x width).
• One wall measurement must be at least 7 feet.
• It does not have to have a closet inside the room but must have access to one.
• Portions of a room with a sloping ceiling measuring less than 5 feet (from floor to ceiling) shall not be considered as contributing to the minimum required habitable area of that room.
• Bedrooms located in a basement must have at least one openable emergency escape and rescue window (Egress) with a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet and located not more than 44” from the floor (measured from the floor to the window sill).

I hope this helps.
1 vote
Velmarodriuez, Home Buyer, Minneapolis, MN
Tue Aug 30, 2016
I am renting a two bedroom does not have a egress window so legally it is not considered a LEGAL BEDROOM she is charging me LEGAL?
0 votes
Patti Ann Ka…, Agent, Coon Rapids, MN
Wed Aug 18, 2010
Jennifer had a great answer. Basically, the number of bathrooms is counted by the number of ROOMS used as a bathroom and not what is in them. Then it is further broken down into 3/4, 1/2 and so forth. I don't know if you would call a bathroom with a separate tub and shower a 1.25 bathroom or not, but it is certainly more than a normal full bathroom with a combination shower and tub.

Every city is different on the question of bedrooms and years ago, homes didn't have closets as people used pieces of furniture to hang their clothes in. The basic idea when it comes to a bedroom; is it a safe place to sleep and can you get out if there is a fire.

It sounds like you should be able to finish the closet area with some drywall and it shouldn't be too expensive. If you don't like having that kind of closet, you might want to look at other homes.
0 votes
Susan Hoffla…, Agent, Shoreview, MN
Fri Aug 13, 2010
Hi, Susie!
On the bathroom thing, I know it seems not fair to list a 1/2 bath or a 1/4 bath as a bathroom, but that's how the MLS does it here. There are other outside posting sites that delineate whether it's a "partial" bath, but not the MLS. So, if there is a 1/2 bath, it's counted in the official NUMBER OF BATHROOMS.

As for the bedroom issue, one of my colleagues gives a very detailed description as to what's considered acceptable when describing a room as a bedroom. I'm not sure where these came from (maybe rules for appraisers), but real estate agents are kind of going less formally. We have been told that the exit from that room (whether it be window or door) is essential, that ceiling height and floor space are also essential. As for the closet thing, it makes sense to me that it doesn't have to be there but that there should be access to a closet from that room. Well, that could be ANYWHERE in the house. It boils down to what feels comfortable for YOU! If you don't like it, then these descriptions don't matter.
Web Reference:  http://www.homestosellmn.com
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Brad Anderson, Agent, Maple Grove, MN
Thu Aug 12, 2010
Check with the city on the bedroom. Most likely if it has a door, closet, and a large, and low enough window, it can be considered a bedroom. Bathrooms are split into fractions on some sites, and flyer's, but if it has 2 stools, and the rooms are separate, it has 2 bathrooms.
0 votes
Joel Friday, Agent, Coon Rapids, MN
Thu Aug 12, 2010
Oops, missed your second question. I would call it 2 bathrooms as most searches don't go to the 1/2 and 3/4 levels. The Northstar MLS does allow for this but counts them all as whole numbers for searching, but does allow the detail when looking closer.
Web Reference:  http://HomeByFriday.com
0 votes
Joel Friday, Agent, Coon Rapids, MN
Thu Aug 12, 2010
Each bedroom should have a door, egress window, and a closet to be a bedroom. The most important item is the egress window for safety reasons. The others are more for tax purposes than anything else. The room you describe is best left to the notes stating this could be an extra bedroom, as opposed to being in the actual bedroom count for search criteria.
Web Reference:  http://HomeByFriday.com
0 votes
Scott Hutchi…, Agent, Lakeville, MN
Thu Aug 12, 2010
As far as the bathroom, it's not uncommon for an "ad" to say 2 bathrooms when it's actually a 1.5 bathroom. Again, the city will define what a bedroom is.
0 votes
Cameron Piper, Agent, Forest Lake, MN
Thu Aug 12, 2010

The answer to your first question is that there is nothing defined in MN that consitutes a bedroom. There are plenty of opinions on the matter but no concise law. The MLS will often defer to tradition or the tax record (which are terribly incorrect). You should have your agent send comments to the rules and regulations administrator at the MLS to have them correct it in the database.

Calling the home you are describing a two bathroom is a fairly common practice. Technically the house does have two bathrooms, it just doesn't have two full bathrooms.

Cameron Piper
Web Reference:  http://www.campiper.com
0 votes
Scott Hutchi…, Agent, Lakeville, MN
Thu Aug 12, 2010
A city's building code is what defines it. You will commonly see that the appraisal guidelines and the city code will be different.

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