Work Conditions are Safe & Hygienic - Figures detailing when a property is overcrowded

Figures detailing when a property is overcrowded

The current national statutory overcrowding standards - the Room Standard and the Space Standard are set out in the Housing Act 1985.

Under the Housing Act a dwelling is overcrowded if either of these standards is contravened.

The Room Standard is breached if two people of opposite sexes, who are not living together as husband and wife, must sleep in the same room. Children under the age of 10 do not count for the purpose of determining whether the Room Standard has been contravened. The age limit of 10 years is arbitrary and not based on a view of sexual maturity.

The Space Standard specifies the maximum number of people who may sleep in a dwelling according to the number of rooms available as sleeping accommodation and the floor area of each room.

The number allocated to each room is used to calculate the maximum number of persons who can sleep in the dwelling. For rooms of 110 sq ft or more, the number of persons is 2. This is reduced for smaller rooms and for the smallest category of room (50-70 sq ft), the number of persons allocated is only ½.

Floor area of Room

Number of Persons

110 sq ft or more


90 sq ft or more, but less than 110 sq ft


70 sq ft or more, but less than 90 sq ft


50 sq ft or more, but less than 70 sq ft


Less than 50 sq ft


In determining the number of people sleeping in a house, no account is taken of a child under one year old and a child aged between one and 10 years is reckoned as one half of one unit (person). In the above mentioned legislation, living rooms are classed as bedrooms and must NOT be excluded from the overcrowding assessment.