In a bid to cut the number of rogue landlords operating in the UK, the government has proposed a mandatory standard of 6.52 square meters for a bedroom in a shared house. The room size would apply to any bedroom, irrespective of whether a couple or an individual was living there, so bunk beds are not allowed as a way of bypassing the rule.
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Tiny Bedrooms Banned
The government hopes the new proposal will stop rogue landlords advertising rooms for rent that are no larger than the average rabbit hutch. It should also discourage landlords from advertising rooms where tenants are expected to share with other tenants.
Clearing Up Confusion
The proposal comes after a court case in 2015 caused confusion. Existing legislation specified minimum space standards, but the ruling in this case allowed a landlord to renew his licence for a property with a bedroom smaller than the minimum guidelines.
Further proposals put forward by the government include plans to extend the landlord licensing scheme to include flats above shops and business premises, and a more rigorous test to decide whether a landlord is a ‘fit and proper’ person.
The new rules will only apply to HMOs, but 174k more properties will be affected.
“We agree that tackling criminal landlords must be a priority. We wait to see the full details, but powers are already available to tackle overcrowding which is about the number of people crammed into a room, not the size of a room,” says the RLA.
“What is needed is proper enforcement of existing powers.”