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Landlords applaud minimum room sizes

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The inclusion of guidance on minimum room sizes in the licensing criteria used by local authorities when authorising properties to be let has been welcomed by the majority of landlords, said the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) on the 21st of December 2018

The RLA insists that no tenant should ever have to tolerate overcrowded conditions in the accommodation they rent.

Houses in Multiple Occupation and residential property licensing reform 

The new rules on minimum room sizes were incorporated into revised licensing requirements for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in December.

Although minimum room sizes were incorporated – with effect from the 1st of October 2018 – into changes to the licensing requirements for HMOs, they can be expected to apply to any instance in which the local authority exercises its right to license a let property.

The standards

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has previously explained that the new standards on minimum room sizes mean that:

  • the usable floor space – with a minimum height of 1.5m – of any room in which a single adult sleeps must measure at least 6.51sqm; 
  • if two adults sleep in the room, the minimum usable floor area must measure at least 10.22sqm;
  • children under the age of 10 may sleep in a room measuring at least 4.64sqm; and
  • no room with a floor area of less than 4.64sqm may be used for sleeping. 

The relevant licences give landlords up to 18 months to ensure that they comply with the new standards.

Criminal offences

As we reported on the 10th of September 2018, landlords who fail to comply with the new legislation face fines up to £30,000 and even criminal prosecution.