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. Children under one year old are not taken into account and children under ten count as half.
All habitable rooms including bedrooms, dining rooms and living rooms must be taken into account. The occupier and landlord can be guilty of an offence if they cause or permit overcrowding.
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.
We will deal with serious hazards identified by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System policy. Crowding and space are 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.