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New minimum space and waste storage rules revealed by government

The government has set out new measures to mitigate against overcrowded and dangerous living conditions of private tenants in shared homes.

From October councils will be able to set minimum bedroom size standards and also introduce limits on how many people can live in each bedroom of a licenced multiple occupancy home. 

Councils will be able to use national minimum standards or apply even tougher requirements in order to address specific local needs.


A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says: “This move will help ensure tenants have the space they need and deserve as well as reduce health and safety risks they face by sharing cooking and washing facilities with too many people.

“The new standards will apply to all landlords seeking new licences. Landlords of existing properties will be given up to 18 months to make necessary changes when re-applying for a licence when it expires.”

In a move to stop rubbish piling up outside some shared rented homes, the government says landlords will also be required to provide adequate waste storage facilities in line with their local authority’s rules. If they fail to do so they could face a fine.

Last month new legislation was introduced requiring more landlords to obtain a licence from their council. Landlords of one and two-storey multiple occupancy properties will be brought within scope of mandatory licensing requirements across England, affecting roughly 160,000 additional properties.

In more detail, here are the minimum space requirements put forward by the government:


“Rooms used for sleeping by one person over 10 will have to be no smaller than 6.51 square metres, and those slept in by two people over 10 will have to be no smaller than 10.22 square metres. Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to be no smaller than 4.64 square metres.

“The licence must specify the maximum number of persons (if any) who may occupy any room and the total number across the different rooms must be the same as the number of persons for whom the property is suitable to live in.

“National mandatory licensing currently only applies to houses in multiple occupation that have three or more storeys and occupied by five or more people. It is being extended to cover one/two storey houses in multiple occupation which are occupied by five or more people.”

  • icon

    How ridiculous, will this apply to council houses where 2 children are expected to sleep in a box room or indeed social housing, probably not, yet another hit for the landlords, do we give notice to families whose children hit 10 and only have a small room. This government has a lot to answer for from the lettings industry as a whole, they will only be satisfied when our streets are full of homeless.

  • Barry X

    The single room, typically at the front and over the hall, in an AVERAGE THREE BEDROOM semi-detached house, typically built in the 1930's, is usually around 2.4 m long and about 2.0 m wide, and therefore 4.8 sq m in total. Apart from the rental properties we have, our own house has such a room. It is (or was!) PERFECTLY NORMAL to have a single bed in such a room used by an adult, or alternatively a bunk bed in the same space used by two children (if of the same sex) right up until their mid teens.... so way above 10 years old and for two of them!

    Although the main double room is probably more than 10.22 sq m but the other one is quite likely to be something like 3.3 m x 3.0 m and therefore LESS than this arbitrary new "standard"..... so a perfectly normal 3 bedroom house (2x doubles + 1x single) that was built in the 1930s for families (typically up to 5 or even 6 adults back then) and has worked perfectly well for 85 years is now suddenly "unfit" and downgraded to being a 1x double + 1x single room (and the really single room can't be used anymore except for a cot or dog basket or something), for a max of 3 people! PLUS you have to be "licence" and pay for the privilege of being told how you can use your house!


    By the way, where the hell do these people who make this stuff up get two decimal places from? How on earth can they mandate that a room 10.22 sq m is ok for 2 people over the age of 10 to sleep in but a room 10.21 sq m isn't? And what about if the "room" was a long corridor 1 m wide and 10.22 m long.....(with door at one end and a tiny window at the other)? Would THAT be ok for two adults to sleep in? Obviously it complies PERFECTLY with these utterly brilliant, well thought-out impositions.



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