Does That Count as a Bedroom?
There’s no single legal definition for a bedroom in Texas. The International Residential Code (IRC), published by the International Code Council and adopted by Texas in 2001, establishes a set of residential building standards for public safety and welfare that include requirements for what can be considered a bedroom. Amendments to the IRC adopted by local jurisdictions may add to those requirements.
Housing built prior to the adoption of the IRC by Texas that remains unchanged is not required to comply with IRC standards for what may be considered a bedroom. However, there are some instances when requirements on what may be considered a bedroom are imposed on such housing, including specific requirements of the IRC, the International Property Maintenance Code, the International Fire Code, or from a local building official. Additionally, the Texas Property Code’s definition of “an area of a dwelling intended as sleeping quarters” applies to rooms offered for rent.
Whether a bedroom must have a closet is not governed by the IRC or Texas Property Code, but local residential codes may require one, along with heat sourcing and other amendments to the IRC. Furthermore, certain lenders, like FHA, VA, and Fannie Mae, may have definitions for a bedroom within their appraisal guidelines.