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Houses in Multiple Occupation amenity guidance

1.0 Room sizes and permitted occupation

Where stated, room sizes are provided as a minimum and in all cases consideration will be given to the shape and usable living space of any room in determining whether and by how many people it is suitable for occupation by.

The following minimum space standards shall be met. The maximum number of persons who may occupy any room or rooms, as a household shall not exceed the numbers indicated.

The methodology described below is that to be followed for the calculation of the floor area of a room for the purpose of determining the number of persons who may sleep in that room.

Subject to the above, the floor shall be measured as to:

  • include any floor space formed by a bay window; and
  • include any floor space which is covered or occupied by fixed cupboards
  • exclude any floor space covered by a projecting chimney breast
  • exclude any floor space which is contiguous with the entrance to the room (and is formed so as to be only as wide as the door entrance) and is effectively a corridor to the main body of the room.

All measurements for the purpose of calculating the floor area shall be made at floor level and subject to the above shall extend to the back of all projected skirting boards.

A new resident must not be permitted to occupy the house or any part of the house if that occupation:

  • exceeds the maximum permitted number of persons for the house
  • exceeds the maximum permitted number of households
  • exceeds the maximum permitted number of persons for any room to be used as sleeping accommodation

A new resident means a person who was not an occupier of the house and/or the specific room at the date of the issue of the licence.

Where rooms are occupied by more than one person over the age of 10, those persons must be of the same sex, or living as partners.

It is acceptable for two unrelated people to share, only with the written consent of both occupants.

In general, all standards for floor space apply whatever the age of the occupants. In any situation where children may be occupying the HMO you should contact the Private Sector Housing Team for advice.

The licence holder must ensure that only designated rooms are used for sleeping accommodation and that the common areas, including shared living rooms, kitchens, hallways, storage rooms etc of the house are not used for sleeping, either by tenants or their guests.