Why do HMO bedroom requirements matter?

Why do HMO bedroom requirements matter?

8:57 AM, 17th August 2022, About 2 years ago 5

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Hello everyone, I have a 3 bedroom flat, that was rented to 3 sharers (friends on 1 AST) for over 10 years.

It has 2 doubles and a large single.

The new rules meant that I either had to rent it out as a 2 bedroom flat, or register it as an HMO.

The rules for HMO room sizes meant that for an adult, the large single bedroom wasn’t big enough.

I rented the flat out as a 2 bedroom with office space but keeping the large lounge.

This year I converted the lounge so that I now have 3 large bedrooms, and the single bedroom is now the communal area. The price difference is £200pw extra. It was a no brainer.

Had this been a 2 bedroom flat with a double and the same large single, I wouldn’t need to register as an HMO and it wouldn’t have mattered if the 2nd bedroom was smaller.

Why does it matter?

I don’t understand the reasoning here with room sizes.

Before 3 bedrooms and large lounge where renters spent most of their time anyway. Now its 3 bedrooms, and the communal area is a small bedroom. Makes no sense at all.

Thank you,


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Ross Tulloch

11:38 AM, 17th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Sadly there is little sense. We now have sold 3 properties because the smallest room is just smaller than the 6.51m required for an HMO. So legal for a person to sleep on the streets for free, but illegal to rent a safe room for a low cost. The smallest room always was rented without void periods to grateful people. When the new minimum room sizes came in, we had to sell the properties rather than having an empty room, evicting 12 previously happy tenants. No surprise that this is contributing to the property shortage. Some idiot has decided that this makes sense. In truth people putting in regulations without thinking it through

Alistair Cooper

12:40 PM, 17th August 2022, About 2 years ago

There is no logic so best not to try and figure it out! I’ve had numerous debates with HMO Officers ; one wanted to deduct the area of the door swing by calculating 768mm x 768mm until I reminded him that not many doors I’ve seen open in a square projectors . The response was ‘how would you work it out ?’ My learned response was either 1/. I wouldn’t 2/. Pi 3.14159 x 768/2 squared divided by 4
The issue was soon dropped !!

Grumpy Doug

13:27 PM, 17th August 2022, About 2 years ago

It doesn't make sense. I lost 10% of my rooms off the back of this. I ended up turning them into additional shower rooms which enabled me to raise my rents, so over a couple of years the lost income was recovered. Win win for me, loss of a number of low cost rooms - exactly as described by Ross.


13:54 PM, 17th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Properties covered by Additional Licensing have the room sizes imposed by local Council, who may also have a problem with the size of your new lounge if you were letting on per room basis.

Ross Tulloch

14:02 PM, 17th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David at 17/08/2022 - 13:54My local council did impose their own minimum room size because I did not have a living room. They required 10 m I had 8.5m. I told them that I would take them to tribunal but just before hearing there was a meeting to try and avoid the tribunal and I basically told the council that any person with common sense would see that The room is okay to let and after careful consideration with their legal team I won.
A lot of work went in to save that room with the council seeming to be hellbent on worsening property shortage

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