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Page last updated on April 10, 2023 at 8:59 am


The entire city of Bloomington is governed by a zoning ordinance that, in part, dictates the types of land use (i.e. commercial vs. residential, single-family vs. multi-unit) that are allowed. The city is divided into many areas, each with its own particular zoning classification and set of approved uses and occupancy classifications.

There are many areas within the city that are zoned "RS", for residential use only. Typically, in a residential single family zone the maximum allowable occupancy is 1) a single family or 2) three adults. In a residential, multi-dwelling zone up to five adults may be allowed to live in the same unit. There are also some properties within a residential zone which have been legally grandfathered to allow more than 3 adults (this means that the property is on record as having housed more than three adults prior to the enactment of the newest zoning ordinance).

Typically over-occupancy complaints are prompted by other issues, such as: improper trash disposal by tenants, large numbers of vehicles being parked at a property, or loud parties.

When an over-occupancy complaint is filed:

  1. The address is checked to see if it is registered with the HAND Department.
  2. Maximum allowable occupancy for that property is checked.
  3. An inspector is then assigned to do an investigation.

If over-occupancy is confirmed, the case is then turned over to the City's Legal Department. The owner/agent of the over-occupied property is given a deadline by which the property must be brought into compliance with the zoning regulations. This does mean that tenants will have to move out in order to reduce the number of tenants to the maximum allowable occupancy level.


Occupancy Affidavit

In 2021 the City of Bloomington Common Council adopted Bloomington Municipal Code (BMC) Ordinance No. 21-30 to amend the code to include an occupancy affidavit for rental properties containing four or fewer units within the City of Bloomington corporate limits.


The HAND Department sees the value of this affidavit as three-fold:


  1. The affidavit helps protect property owners, tenants and neighbors from over-occupancy of rental units, which can lead to life safety issues and ordinance violations.


  1. It provides documentation in the case of an alleged over-occupancy of a rental unit in Bloomington and can help expedite an investigation into the matter.


  1. It provides greater ability for the City’s HAND Department to work with property owners to better educate tenants on the City’s housing policies and the rights of both tenants and landlords under the law.


In order to fulfill the requirements of BMC Section 16.03.25, please complete the Occupancy Affidavit form (found by clicking one of the green buttons below) to reflect the current occupancy of your rental unit(s). Upon completion of this form for each rental unit, changes to it will need to be made within 15 days of any further occupancy changes. You should keep the completed form on file so that it can be provided during any inspection of the rental unit, or upon request by the HAND Department. The form also contains information and ordinance language to help you complete and maintain it.