Is there a legal requirement for minimum room size at an assisted living community?

  1. Molly Dworken 10/16/2012 05:33PM

    Legal requirements governing minimum room size and other occupancy matters at licensed assisted living communities vary by state, but the minimum standard in most states is 80 square feet per single-occupancy rooms. Some states set the minimum floor space of 100 square feet or 120 square feet. For multiple-occupancy rooms, there is more variation with minimum requirements generally ranging from 120 square feet to 160 square feet for double occupancy. Some states specify a minimum of 60 or 80 square feet per resident for multiple-occupancy rooms, with other states spelling out a maximum number of individuals per room (usually two to four). Regulations in some states also govern ceiling height and how closet space and built-in furniture may be calculated as part of the overall square-footage requirement.

    In some states, distinction is made between standard rooms and residential units that have additional living space, such as a living room, dining room, and kitchen or a combination of any of these. Some states require a minimum square footage of living space for these residential units, such as 220 square feet, and also require such features as a private bathroom and a kitchen area with sink, refrigerator, and cooking appliance.

    The minimum size for a bedroom in a residential unit may be less than it is for a stand-alone unit. For instance, in Utah, the minimum for a single-occupant unit without additional living space is 120 square feet; the minimum for a single-occupant bedroom in a unit with additional living space is 100 square feet. For double-occupancy units, the minimums are 200 square feet for a unit without additional living space and 160 square feet for a bedroom in a unit with additional living space.