6.5 sq metre minimum room size for HMOs

6.5 sq metre minimum room size for HMOs

11:03 AM, 18th October 2016, About 5 years ago 27

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The Government has proposed a minimum room size of 6.5 sq metres (70 sq feet) for a rented room in an HMO.small room

This is in an effort to stop tenants from being crammed into overcrowded properties and to set minimum standards creating a level playing field for good landlords. This proposal will only relate to properties in England.

The Housing Act 1985 does specify minimum floor area requirements, but in tribunal case lost by Oxford Council last year it was ruled that the standards could only be a form of guidance and not a legal requirement.

The government has said it wants to make the new minimum floor area mandatory along with other proposals to help councils bring an end to ruthless landlords who exploit tenants and charge them extortionate rents to live in poor conditions.

The consultation paper published yesterday also include extending mandatory licensing rules for HMOs to flats above shops and other business premises, requiring landlords to provide decent storage and disposal of rubbish, and tightening up the ‘fit and proper person’ test to be a landlord.

Gavin Barwell, housing and planning minister  said “in order to build a country that truly works for everyone we must ensure that everyone has somewhere safe and secure to live.”

“These measures will give councils the powers they need to tackle poor quality rental homes in their area. By driving out rogue landlords that flout the rules of business, we are raising standards and giving tenants the protection they need.”

In a response to these new proposals the RLA Policy Director, David Smith, said in a press release, “we agree that tackling criminal landlords must be a priority.”

“We wait to see the full details, but powers are already available to tackle overcrowding which is about the number of people crammed into a room, not the size of a room.”

“What is needed is proper enforcement of existing powers.”


by Ross Tulloch

19:22 PM, 22nd September 2017, About 4 years ago

I wonder if anyone has calculated how many rooms will have to remain permanently empty, so how many will be lost and where and how much people will then have to pay in a market that only has bigger rooms and fewer of them. How many in London. I have 12 properties in London and 6 will have 1 permanently empty room. All Built by the councils years ago suddenly the same councils will say illegal to let out.

by Robert Mellors

19:27 PM, 22nd September 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ross Tulloch at 22/09/2017 - 19:22
Nevermind the increased rents for the bigger rooms, (for those that can afford them), what about all the people that will be made homeless because they cannot afford the bigger rooms? Will the Council now be rehousing families in larger accommodation so that they don't have to use the smallest bedroom in their council houses, or is it one rule for Councils and a different rule for private landlords yet again?

by Ross Tulloch

19:32 PM, 22nd September 2017, About 4 years ago

Robert Mellors, these rules do not apply to families, where there is no rule about room sizes or how many in a flat. Only singles, or to be more specific, two or more families, three or more people. So a couple and a single person would be an HMO

by Ross Tulloch

19:35 PM, 22nd September 2017, About 4 years ago

Incidentally of the six properties that have too small rooms, we are selling 2, will sell 3 more later, and evicting all the tenants in the process. So sad. I am incandescent.

by Robert Mellors

19:49 PM, 22nd September 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ross Tulloch at 22/09/2017 - 19:32
This is exactly my point, why is it fair for a grown up (adult) member of a family to have a bedroom below 6.5sqm, but if they are not a member of the family then the room cannot be used as a bedroom. It is double standards, total hypocrisy, and discrimination, leading to hardship and homelessness.

by Ian Narbeth

12:56 PM, 25th September 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 22/09/2017 - 19:49Two points to make. First, there has to be some defined standard and so some rooms will fall below the minimum and cannot be used as HMO bedrooms. The standard is set for an HMO tenant who by definition is an adult. Second, if the rooms are in a single let property, it is open to family members to keep belongings in common areas or the garage.

Also five HMO tenants are likely to have more than five times as "stuff" as a family. HMO landlords are more likely to convert a living room into bedrooms thereby reducing the common areas. If the HMO is all bed-sits with no communal kitchen then 6.5 metres is small. Sorry to disagree with those who are adversely affected but this is not a battle landlords will win and we will only be seen as encouraging over-crowding if we fight to be allowed to go below the figure.

by Ross Tulloch

13:09 PM, 25th September 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 25/09/2017 - 12:56
All very fine but it is the people at the bottom of the pile who will suffer most. Because they will have to spend more to get somewhere larger. All the same and commit further. Very sad when they are currently happy in the room they have because presumably nobody is forcing them to live there The rooms of that sort of size that I have let instantly because they love the cheap space and are probably out most of the time anyway

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