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Minimum HMO room size

Find out what the minimum room sizes are for HMOs.

The laws around minimum room sizes changed in 2018.

Minimum room floor areas

  • One person aged over 10 years is not less than 6.51 square metres.
  • Two persons aged over 10 years is not less than 10.22 square metres;
  • One person aged under 10 years is not less than 4.64 square metres;
  • Any room with a floor area of less than 4.64 square metres is not used as sleeping accommodation.
  • Any area of the room in which the ceiling height is less than 1.5m cannot be counted towards the room size.
  • Your licence sets out the maximum number of people over 10 years of age and/or under 10 years who may occupy rooms in the HMO for sleeping accommodation.

The rules are set out in the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Mandatory Conditions of Licences) (England) Regulations 2018. They amend the Housing Act 2004 (Schedule 4: Mandatory Conditions).

These are the legal minimum standards and we may set higher standards. We say, for example, that kitchen facilities in bedsit-type accommodation with a floor area of 10m2 are only suitable for one person.  

If there are more occupiers than the levels we allow, you will have to reduce the numbers as soon as possible, or enlarge the room. 

Assessing minimum room sizes

  • When assessing room size, we measure the floor area in the room.
  • Any area of the room with a ceiling height of less than 1.5m cannot be counted towards the minimum room size.
  • Built in wardrobes (floor to ceiling) will be included in our calculation.
  • Wardrobes not at floor level will be discounted, for example those above a staircase bulkhead.
  • Any area of the room taken by the staircase bulkhead will not be included in the calculation.
  • Ensuite facilities will not be considered as part of the floor area of the room.
  • You cannot use communal space in other parts of the HMO, such as airing cupboards, to make up for bedrooms smaller than the legal minimum.
  • Where your property is being extended/converted, you need to meet the minimum bedroom size.
  • The measured space in any room must be usable space. It must fit the required amount of furniture easily and still allow space for movement about the room.

Important reminder

Although specific room sizes have not been set for kitchens and bathrooms, there must be adequate space in the rooms for ease of use. The rooms should also have adequate ventilation, lighting and heating.

Natural light and adequate ventilation in a bedroom without windows will need ventilation from the exterior of the property. This is to give fresh air and a ventilation system to allow air to escape the room. Natural light and adequate ventilation will be assessed on a case by case basis.