I was sold a house as 3 bedrooms with the third laid out as such in one of the basement rooms. I had a survey done. However now discover ceiling should be 7ft, the room is only 6ft4ins. Do I have any recourse to the surveyor or estate agent?

  • 3
    I think a recent answer said that there was some leeway and a refinished basement had a min height of 6'8", but either way it sounds too low. I assume you are measuring from the finished floor to the finished ceiling? And a survey is usually for the land the home is on, not the rooms. Maybe that's a language/regional difference? Where are you located? – JPhi1618 Mar 27 '19 at 15:18
  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a legal question – Jerry_Contrary Mar 27 '19 at 15:28
  • As @JPhi1618 noted, surveyor normally measures land and outer dimensions of house and other items located on the property. Real estate agent is potentially liable. But even if code now requires 7' (or whatever), it might be grandfathered in or an allowed variance. A bigger factor - and a real safety issue, not just comfort/usability - is exit. A bedroom normally requires a direct exit out - typically a window with a minimum size - according to this article minimum 20" w, 24" h, 5.7 sq. ft. and max. 44" above the floor. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Mar 27 '19 at 15:35
  • 1
    How did you not notice the height when you were in that room? – Solar Mike Mar 27 '19 at 16:22
  • 1
    @manassehkatz I took a ruler with me - one of those fold-out ones... So, vertically challenged or not - it is something easily checked.... And I would have my hair rubbing on the ceiling so I would know instantly in this particular case... – Solar Mike Mar 27 '19 at 17:15

You can and should go after the real estate agent. There are minimum requirements to call a room a bedroom. My local codes require a window (not sure of the minimum size) a closet (also not sure of the minimum size) a minimum height of around 7'(not sure of exact figure) and a minimum floor space with some ratio of length vs width (also not sure of the exact criteria).

The bottom line is that to be sold legally as a 3 bedroom, which demands a premium over a two bedroom, certain criteria need to be met. The same applies for bathrooms and kitchens. That's where terminology like 2 and a half bedrooms comes in. It means 2 bedroom with a room you can use as a bedroom but legally isn't.

A surveyor is only concerned with property lines and house footprint. The interior is not a primary concern.


Yes like a 2 piece bathroom isn't actually a legal bathroom so they call it a half bath

or in this case 1+1 bedroom

enter image description here


It just means one legal bedroom and a room that the realtor has arbitrarily decided is a bedroom.

| improve this answer | |
  • Never heard of "2-1/2 bedrooms" - how does 1/2 a person sleep? 2-1/2 bathrooms is normal - full meaning "toilet, sink, shower or bathtub" and 1/2 meaning "toilet, sink". – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Mar 27 '19 at 18:03
  • @manassehkatz see edit in the answer. The half bedroom or half bath or + 1 are all just marketing mumbo jumbo of behalf of the realtors. There may actually be some rules on what qualifies as a half or + anything but I'm not aware of it. – Joe Fala Mar 27 '19 at 18:16
  • I disagree, but I can't find code at the moment to support my statements. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Mar 27 '19 at 18:30
  • That's how it was described to me by a friend in real estate and have been on jobs where a real estate agent had to pay out of his commissions to make a half bedroom qualify as a full bedroom because that's how it was advertised. I don't know the details behind it all or I would be selling houses. The average price of a house in Toronto is over a million dollars these days. Real estate agents are killing it. I'm curious if the rules for selling a home are different elsewhere. – Joe Fala Mar 27 '19 at 19:04

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.