Is it a deal breaker?
People often think that the minimum room size in a House of Multiple Occupancy has always been 6.52m2, but the truth is that this has only ever been a guide. However, the rules are changing (October 2018) and it will become legislation, although it seems some Local Authorities (LA’s) will still be treating it as a guide.
A person in the MLCS community recently found herself having to comply with the officer’s suggestion to the strip the 25mm thick plaster off a wall, to enable it to reach the required 6.52m2. Whereas, another LA made the suggestion of allocating the space underneath the stairs to a tenant with a slightly undersized room (just 20cm2 too small) to enable it to meet the requirement. They said that as long as it was a lockable space, the tenant can use it as storage space, and it would count towards the overall room space?
Some landlords who found themselves with undersize box rooms, allowed tenants to use them as an office (small a small extra charge) an ironing area, for storage or in some cases, for occasional overnight guests. Others suggest maybe converting them into en-suites or shower rooms, or, depending on the layout, knocking two smaller rooms together to create a larger bedroom, and benefit from an increased rent.For double occupancy rooms, some (but not all) councils are insisting on 10.22m2. Here’s the link to the legislation:
Although the minimum room size was set nationally, individual LA’s have the right to make their own decision as to whether or not to allow a slightly undersized bedroom, based on the amount of communal space available, the layout of the house and current housing needs in the area.
Bear in mind that if you have any sloping ceilings in the bedrooms, any part of the floor area of a room in which the height of the ceiling is less than 1.5 metres, cannot be taken into account in determining the floor area of that room.
We say: there’s always a way, even if it means moving a wall. Just make sure it’s not a load bearing wall before you move it!
Check out some more great articles from Francis and Emily at www.multiletcashflowsystem.com/blog