New Government rules on minimum room sizes for households in private shared houses will not affect existing higher standards set out by Croydon Council.
As of 1 October, landlords renting out smaller houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) for the first time need a mandatory HMO licence. Under the new law, these licences have extra conditions including national minimum room sizes.
Croydon Council is using its discretionary powers to continue to require at least 10 square metres per bedroom for one person and 15 sq m for a couple, compared with the new national minimum size of 6.5 sq m and 10.2 sq m.
Croydon’s other minimum size requirements that are not changing range from 12.5 sq m for an en-suite single bedsit to 18.5 sq m for a double room with a kitchenette.
The council has decided to keep its existing room sizes because most HMOs in the borough are bedsits with no communal living room.
These changes only apply to landlords applying for new HMO licences or renewals; not those that currently already have a mandatory HMO licence nor ones that currently have a Croydon selective licence.
Before the law change, the mandatory requirement to license HMOs had been limited to properties consisting of three or more storeys and five or more people in at least two households sharing facilities. This storey element has now been removed nationwide.
“It is not right to expect a private tenant to sleep, eat and socialise in a room of 6.5sq m, which is why we are keeping the council’s higher minimum space standards instead of new Government ones that are now in place.
“Because Croydon already has a property licensing scheme this new law won’t mean a rush for new HMO licences locally compared with elsewhere, but I urge landlords to learn more about their new responsibilities by visiting our website.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services
For more information on the changes and guidance on how to apply for a new licence, visit the council website.