Government announce new room size guidence

by Property 118

8:09 AM, 24th December 2018
About 2 years ago

Government announce new room size guidence

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Government announce new room size guidence
Houses in Multiple Occupation and residential property licensing reform Guidance for Local Housing Authorities Click here

“3. 4 What is the minimum sleeping room size?

The minimum sleeping room floor area sizes (subject to the measurement restrictions detailed in the paragraphs below) to be imposed as conditions of Part 2 licences are:
• 6.51m square for one person over 10 years of age
• 10.22m square for two persons over 10 years

The minimum size for sleeping accommodation does not apply to charities providing night shelters or temporary accommodation for people suffering or recovering from drug or alcohol abuse or mental disorders.

The Mandatory Conditions Regulations 2018 amend Schedule 4 of the Act, introducing the following new conditions:
•Mandatory national minimum sleeping room sizes (See paras 3.3 – 3.10); and
• Waste disposal provision requirements (See paras 3.11). 15
• 4.64m square for one child under the age of 10 years

It will also be a mandatory condition that any room of less than 4.64m square may not be used as sleeping accommodation and the landlord will need to notify the local housing authority of any room in the HMO with a floor area of less than 4.64m square. The measurement is one of wall to wall floor area where the ceiling height is greater than 1.5m. No part of a room should be included in the measurement where the ceiling height is less than 1.5m.”

RLA: Landlords are today welcoming new guidance for councils on room sizes in rented homes.

The guidance addresses concerns raised by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) that recent changes to room size regulations could have led to landlords being in breach of the law where a pregnant tenant gave birth.

Since October this year, rooms used for sleeping by one person over 10-years-old have had to be at least  6.51 square metres, and those slept in by two people over 10-years-old will have had to at least 10.22 square metres. Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger have had to be at least 4.64 square metres.

Whilst the RLA believes that tenants should never face the dangers of overcrowded accommodation, it was concerned that the changes could have seen councils required to take action against landlords where a tenant gave birth and as a result there were two people in a room sized for one. A landlord who sought to evict in this scenario would be carrying out unlawful discrimination.

Following extensive discussions with the Government, newly published guidance makes clear that this will not happen. It notes that in instances where a tenant has given birth to a child since moving into a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO),  that there is an expectation that local authorities will not be acting in the public interest if they commence a prosecution.

David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA said: “We warmly welcome this new guidance. It reflects considerable work between the RLA and the Government in addressing serious concerns about the consequences of the room size changes.

“The Government has clearly listened to our concerns and this document should provide much greater assurances to landlords and tenants alike.”



Comments

Jo Westlake

9:14 AM, 24th December 2018
About 2 years ago

Do the minimum room size regulations apply to small unlicensed HMOs (3 or 4 unrelated tenants)?
I currently have 2 rooms that have floor areas greater than 6.51m2 but have sloping ceilings so are now considered to be smaller.
One is in a licensed 5 person student HMO and the other in a 4 person student house that doesn't require a licence.

The way I have read the guidelines it appears I will need to somehow enlarge the room in the 5 person house or stop letting it when the current licence expires. I'm not so clear on the 4 bedroom house. Do the new room sizes apply to it or not? If so what are the timeframes?

JB

10:59 AM, 24th December 2018
About 2 years ago

Nanny State knows best. A reduction in available rooms is just what tenants need. It's better to be given notice than live in a room that's too small. Then the ex tenant could end up on the street or go to a night shelter and sleep in a small room. Thank goodness the Government's made provision.

Rob Crawford

12:03 PM, 24th December 2018
About 2 years ago

The Act states the "minimum" room size. For HMO's your Local Housing Authority can insist on larger rooms within their own licensing standard. Each LHA could have a different view with regard to whether skirting boards or fitted wardrobes are, or are not, included in the measurement. So always check the LHA HMO standard. If you disagree with the LHA standard you can appeal through the rent tribunal process where the LHA would have to justify their stance.

Anne Noon

17:01 PM, 24th December 2018
About 2 years ago

I have a small room in one property which is about 6.2 metres. I never have any problem in renting it out. Surely it is up to a tenant to decide whether the room is big enough for their needs.? The current tenant has been there for 3 or 4 years, his rent is 370 per month including bills and council tax. It should now be about 430, but he is a good tenant. It enables tenants on low wages to have a decent place to live whilst possibly saving up for deposit. It is nonsense. One of my other tenants has been in his room for 4 years ( again at a low rent as I have never put it up since he has been there- he has saved up enough money for a deposit on a flat). So to adhere to standards, I will have to move a wall over to get the extra .4 metre in the small room. Otherwise I Will put a lock on the door and close it off.

David Atkins

10:31 AM, 26th December 2018
About 2 years ago

Under October 1st reg my local authority is saying that 6.51sq mtr is too small with a 10m sq minimum for a hmo without a living room.

Rob Crawford

13:11 PM, 26th December 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Atkins at 26/12/2018 - 10:31
You can challenge this with rent tribunal. Circa £100.

David Atkins

7:56 AM, 28th December 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 26/12/2018 - 13:11
Hi Rob, thank you for your comment. How would I go about doing this?

Marie

8:50 AM, 8th August 2019
About A year ago

Shelter go on about Section 21 causing homelessness, but it is councils with ever increasing properties falling under the licenses, which then leads to less rooms available at a cheaper rent. You could not make it up.
I have a situation where I have a bedroom house with the smallest bedroom falling just into the government guideline but the local council has increased that size so now it is too small. There is a very large lounge for all 3 tenants. So if I carry on renting and get a licence, I cannot use Bedroom 3, so the house becomes a two bed only in which case I don't need a licence, so what should I do?

Rob Crawford

11:05 AM, 8th August 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Marie at 08/08/2019 - 08:50Hi Marie, where councils impose restrictions beyond legislation they can be contested via a First Tier Tribunal (Property). This relatively cheap process will question whether the council is justified in making these demands. Where evictions may result due to the councils additional demands, I think you would be in a strong position.


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