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Trade bodies give the thumbs-up to new room size guidance

There’s been a broad welcome from the industry to new guidance on room sizes on rented homes.

The guidance was released just before Christmas by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government - in case you missed it, we covered it here on Letting Agent Today on Christmas Eve.

Since October this year, rooms used for sleeping by one person over 10-years-old have had to be at least  6.51 square metres, and those slept in by two people over 10-years-old will have had to at least 10.22 square metres. 


Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger have had to be at least 4.64 square metres.

The Residential Landlords’ Association had expressed concern that the changes could have seen councils required to take action against landlords where a tenant gave birth and as a result there were two people in a room sized for one. 

A landlord or agent who sought to evict in this scenario would be carrying out unlawful discrimination.


However, the new guidance makes clear that this will not happen. It notes that in instances where a tenant has given birth to a child since moving into a House of Multiple Occupation, that there is an expectation that local authorities will not be acting in the public interest if they commence a prosecution.

David Smith, policy director at the RLA, says: “We warmly welcome this new guidance. It reflects considerable work between the RLA and the government in addressing serious concerns about the consequences of the room size changes. The government has clearly listened to our concerns and this document should provide much greater assurances to landlords and tenants alike.”

The Association of Residential Letting Agents has also welcomed the clarification 

  • icon

    So if there is a trad 3 bed bay windowed semi with a 1.85 x 1.7m 3rd bedroom it cant be let as a 3 bed property?

  • icon

    It’s only relevant to HMOs were rooms are rented not complete houses on a single AST

  • S l
    • S l
    • 02 January 2019 17:55 PM

    not exactly true. we have a hmo rented as a whole house and i was told in october 2017 that i cannot let that room and the tenant have to move out. nonetheless it caused me lossess only to find out that it is not applicable until this year!!!

  • Neil Moores

    If this is purely for HMOs then its probably not a bad idea. I always think its a shame though when tenants are denied something they can afford just because the government thinks that it will be too small for them. Most tenants who I have saked would much prefer to have a small room that they could afford rather than no room at all.
    If this applies to all rooms, including those in family homes or flats available to singles, couples and families, then I think that it is a ridiculous idea. Homebuyers have the option to squeeze their families into whatever homes they think they can handle which will leave them with disposable income after their housing payments. Why shouldn't tenants have the same choice?


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