How to prevent overcrowding
Landlords must ensure that their properties are not overcrowded, otherwise, they could fall foul of the law. Toward the end of last year, the government brought in details of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act, which replaces the Landlord and Tenant Act. It was implemented in March and it states that there must be an agreement between the tenant and landlord at the start of the tenancy that the property will be fit for human habitation.
If you are concerned that your property is overcrowded, there are two indicators. The first is the ‘room standard.’ This looks at the number and sex of people who have to sleep in the same room. If you have two people of the opposite gender sleeping in the same room, then the property is deemed overcrowded unless they are a couple. The second is the ‘space standard’ and there are two ways to work out overcrowding. It can be measured either by using the number of rooms or the floor space of each room. If you have two people of the opposite gender sleeping in the same room, then the property is deemed overcrowded unless they are a couple. The second is the ‘space standard’ and there are two ways to work out overcrowding. It can be measured either by using the number of rooms or the floor space of each room.
If you base the calculation on the number of rooms, then one room would allow a maximum of two people. Two rooms would permit three people maximum, and three rooms, five people. If the property has four rooms, the maximum number of people works out as 7.5.
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To ensure overcrowding is not an issue in a property, the size of each room that is used as a bedroom or living room should be measured. If the floor space is 50-69 square feet, it is deemed inappropriate for adults. If it’s between 70-89 square feet, the space permits one person. If the measurement is 90-109 square feet, it permits one adult and a child. For rooms of 110 square feet and over, a maximum of two people are allowed.