In my hometown, there is a little known law on the books that states that any building that houses more than four adult women who are not related by birth to one another can be considered a brothel. This little known and seldom enforced law came to my attention a while back by way of one of my employees.

Columbia is a college town with the main campus of the University of South Carolina being in the middle of downtown. Because of this, there are many area neighborhoods that have houses that are rented to students during the year. One of my employees lived in one such dwelling with five other women during her time at the university. They had varying schedules and friends that would come over, so their house was often times a hub of activity people coming and going at all hours of the day and night.

One of the main problems that the home had was a lack of parking. It was on a busy street with no parking on the actual roadway, so the people who lived there as well as their guests often times had to get creative to find a place to put their vehicles. This fact put the ladies who lived at this home at odds with their next-door neighbor. Sometimes, the people who visited would block or partially block the driveway of the man who lived next door. He complained to the girls who did their best to prevent this, but eventually he got fed up with the situation and called the cops.

My employee said she was greeted early one morning to the sound of someone pounding on the front door of their home. As she was the only person up since she was preparing to go to class, she opened to the door to find two police officers, a fireman, and someone from the health department on the front doorstep. The police officer asked if they could look around and she admitted the officials asking what was going on. One of the officers asked how many women lived there and when she answered six, he informed her that they were in violation of the law as the home was technically a brothel.

The home was inspected for both health and fire violations of which neither were found. The landlord got involved and after a quick call to his friend the mayor, the whole situation was put to rest with no further problems.