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Illegal to Live With More Than Two Roommates in New York

In NY If You're Not Going to Live in Sin, Live Outside the Law

When it comes to living in New York, couples have it made. Two incomes can afford one bedroom. Everyone else has about three options: live in 350 square feet (pricey), live far out and off an unreliable train (not cheap), or live with roommates. The more may not be the merrier, but it will rent a better apartment in one of the best locations. Whether it's legal or right or even a good idea is the last concern, so why the New York Times reported yesterday on an old yet existing law that forbids more than three unrelated people to live together is itself something to talk about.

Maybe the purpose is to raise awareness and challenge the law, but even the article admits there's been no rise in citations. Fines and evictions are rarer than one-person households, so who really cares? All it proves is New York, like most American cities with Colonial roots, has nonsensical sex laws. Most people hear rumblings of these laws (three unrelated women make a brothel) while completing college applications.

The point, I suppose, is to point out an old, silly law. But when it's reported like news, complete with earnest quotes, like "To pack unrelated people in an apartment? I don’t think it’s wrong," I just can't take any of it, the article or the law, seriously.

Source: Flickr User smcgee

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