Minimum rooms sizes proposed for HMOs

A ban could be imposed on renting rooms that do not fit into the Government recommended guide lines.

Minimum rooms sizes proposed for HMOs

Minimum rooms sizes have been proposed by the Government to tackle overcrowded homes and drive out rogue landlords in England. Also included is an extension of mandatory licensing parameters, a tougher ‘fit and proper person’ test and storage requirements.

Probably the most contentious section of the proposals is the one relating to minimum room sizes in houses of multiple occupation (HMOs).The regulations will amend schedule 4 of the Housing Act 2004 by inserting a new compulsory condition that in order for a room to be deemed suitable for sleeping in it must meet minimum size requirements. The prescribed sizes are 6.52 sq. m for one person and 10.23 sq. m for two persons.If a room let for sleeping doesn’t meet the minimum standard the licensor would be in breach of the licence and commit an offence and be liable on conviction to an unlimited fine or a financial penalty of up to £30,000.

The condition would not be breached by temporary arrangements, such as visitors sleeping overnight on an occasional basis, who are not to be treated as occupying the room.

The condition would also not apply to temporary emergency accommodation, such as night shelters, or hostels that provide dormitory type accommodation or those who who do not charge or take other consideration for providing accommodation.

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