Does a Bedroom Need a Closet? Understanding Legal Requirements

When it comes to investing in real estate, particularly in residential properties, understanding the nuances of space layout and legal requirements is paramount. One such debated aspect is the need for a bedroom to have a closet.

For real estate investors, this can significantly impact the value of the property. In this guide, we'll explore the presence of closets in bedrooms – from the legal standpoint as well as the implications on home valuation.

The Ontario Building Code and Bedrooms

In Ontario, the Building Code plays a pivotal role in informing the definition of a bedroom within residential structures. The Ontario Building Code does not explicitly require a closet for a room to be labelled as a bedroom. However, the Ontario Building Code does dictate the minimum size of a room to be considered a bedroom, with or without built-in storage.

What the Ontario Building Code States

The Ontario Building Code stipulates that, for a room to be classified as a bedroom, it must have a minimum horizontal area of 7m² (75ft²) and no dimension less than 1.5m (4ft9in). The ceiling height must not be less than 2.13m (7ft) in at least 75% of the room's area. Additionally, habitable rooms must either have a window that has an openable area equal to at least 5% (2.5% if it's in an existing home) of the room's floor area, or another approved means of ventilation. While mechanical ventilation can be added, bedrooms still require natural light to meet Ontario Building Code requirements.

The Impact of No Closet

A bedroom without a closet may still adhere to the spatial and functional requirements set by the Ontario Building Code. However, the absence of a closet can influence marketability and tenant preferences. Real estate investors must balance building code requirements with market demand for features like storage solutions.

Market Implications of Closets in Bedrooms

Beyond regulatory requirements, the presence or absence of closets in a bedroom can significantly impact the property's value and appeal to potential buyers or renters.

Rental Market

In the rental market, tenants often prioritize the presence of a closet in a bedroom. A closet provides a designated storage space and is a widely anticipated feature. Consequently, bedrooms without closets may be less attractive to renters and may command lower rental rates compared to their closet-equipped counterparts.

Real Estate Sales

When it comes to real estate sales, the impact of closets can vary based on location and property type. In some competitive markets, the lack of a closet can be overlooked if the property's location and other features outweigh this absence. However, for the majority of buyers, especially families or those who need multiple bedrooms, closets are considered a standard feature and their absence can be a point of contention during negotiations.


The presence of a closet in a bedroom remains an important consideration in real estate, though not a legal requirement in Ontario. Understanding the balance between legal obligations and market expectations can significantly impact how investors approach property development and marketing strategies. Staying knowledgeable about the Ontario Building Code, market trends, and the potential for creative solutions can empower real estate professionals to make informed decisions that enhance the desirability and value of their properties. Get started with House of Three today!