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