New minimum room sizes for HMOs

New minimum room sizes for HMOs

The government has announced new minimum space requirements for private lettings in a bid to reduce problems of overcrowding.

In addition to its announcement over the Christmas holidays revealing new rules for HMOs – meaning the national mandatory licensing currently only applying if properties are three or more storeys, will be changed so flats and one and two-storey properties will be brought within its scope – the Department of Communities and Local Government has also specified minimum room sizes for HMOs to be let privately.

Rooms used for sleeping by one adult will have to be no smaller than 6.51 square metres, and those slept in by two adults 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 HMO 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.

These new requirements have yet to be made law; measures to make them law are expected this spring.

Published: January 2, 2018