The Housing Act 1985 describes how overcrowding is calculated. A dwelling is overcrowded if either the number or size of available rooms isn’t sufficient for the number of occupants. All habitable rooms including bedrooms, dining rooms and living rooms must be taken into account. Two people of different genders and aged 10 years or over must not have to sleep in the same room unless they are a couple. The occupier and landlord can be guilty of an offence if they cause or permit overcrowding.
Crowding and space
We will deal with serious hazards identified by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Crowding and space is one of the hazards that can be assessed. Action can include prohibiting or restricting use of the dwelling, requiring improvements or alerting those concerned to the issues.
Houses in multiple occupation
All houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), which are required to be licensed under the Housing Act 2004 must conform to the following national minimum sleeping room size standards:
- 6.51m² for one person over 10 years of age
- 10.22m² for two persons over 10 years of age
- 4.64m² for one child under the age of 10 years
Rooms under 4.64m² may not be used as sleeping accommodation.
Any area of a room in which the ceiling height is less than 1.5m cannot be counted towards the minimum room size.
In other HMOs we can take action to remedy or prevent overcrowding and have set out the room sizes we expect in a range of different situations.
If a House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) requires a licence to operate, we will take room sizes into account in setting the occupation limit(s). In other HMOs we can take action to remedy or prevent overcrowding and have set out the room sizes we expect in a range of different situations.