Today in Out-dated Laws That May Apply to You: The Times exposes the 1950s-era prohibition against more than three unrelated people living together in a single dwelling. It is still on the books! Are you breaking the law right now?
Yes, according to the Times, New York's Housing Maintenance Code makes it "illegal for more than three unrelated people to live in an apartment or a house." Uh oh, recent college grads, unemployed people and struggling "actors": You're busted!
But don't worry, the law is "infrequently enforced." (And it only requires landlords to evict extra tenants.) Which is good, because more than 15,000 people would have to draw straws and winnow their roommate count to three inclusive, according to statistics sited by the Times. That would be a very awkward house meeting!
Of course this law was passed by a 1950s-era New York, which equated more people with more sin:
It dates to the 1950s, she said, when the city balked at the number of sketchy single-room-occupancy buildings and their often equally sketchy inhabitants, and wanted boarding house brownstones to be converted back to family homes.
So, sketchy inhabitants, be thankful that we live in a more permissive time, where people are OK with you poors squeezing together like rats, huddling in a single bed during the winter to save heating costs. We can say this because we only have two housemates, like normal human beings.