Can two small 6.5m2 interconnected rooms count as one?

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    Can two small 6.5m2 interconnected rooms count as one?

    Hi,

    A couple of years ago I split a largish room into two so I could create an extra bedroom. There was no room on the landing for two separate doorways so I put in a little square recess (like a miniature hallway) behind the original doorway and had bedroom doors put in on either side opposite one another to access each room. One room is 6.5m2, the other one is 6.4m2. I am now gearing up to apply for my HMO license but before I get too involved my question is, (as both are a little short of the HMO requirement of 6.51m2) can I let them out to one tenant as one room? I can remove the doors into the bedrooms and replace the original doorway - thereby leaving two distinct areas. One for a single bed and the other as a study room, or whatever. What do you think? Or should I just knock the whole thing down? Do you think this would comply with regs and do you think it's an appealing arrangement for a prospective (probably post-grad) tenant?

    Thank you!

    #2
    No I believe the legislation states that each bedroom has to meet the minimum standard and the use of 2 smaller ones doesn't count. Do they have fitted wardrobes?. If so you may meet the criteria by removing them.

    Comment


      #3
      I would have thought removing both internal doors and reinstating the original doorway should be enough to make it count as one room - you could start there and see how it plays.

      Students, especially post grads, tend to like to have a double bed. You'd rent it more readily if you removed enough of the wall to make room for that and still leave enough space to make the bed easily. You could then possibly rent to a couple and widen your market further.

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        #4
        Surely the answer is in the question.

        Two rooms are two rooms, regardless of whether they have doors or not.

        It's walls that define rooms, not doors.

        Comment


          #5
          Okay, thank you, no built-in wardrobes. I guess the pragmatic thing to do would be to turn it back into one room. Thank you

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by nukecad View Post
            Surely the answer is in the question.

            Two rooms are two rooms, regardless of whether they have doors or not.

            It's walls that define rooms, not doors.
            I disagree - the purpose of the HM legislation is
            • to ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged over 10 years is not less than 6.51 square metres;
            • to ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by two persons aged over 10 years is not less than 10.22 square metres;
            Therefore it is occupancy that defines whether it is acceptable. Removing the wall makes it acceptable for either one or two people.

            Comment


              #7
              I'm not sure why you say you disagree, and then agree anyway?

              While the wall is there it's 2 small rooms, remove the dividing wall (or most of the wall) and it's one larger room.

              From the OED: room definition: 1. a part of the inside of a building that is separated from other parts by walls, floor, and ceiling.

              What you can use a room for is a different matter.

              I see the occupancy legislation partly (mainly?) as a measure to prevent the subdivision of large rooms into unsuitably sized smaller rooms in order to cram more tenants into an HMO to increase rental income.
              You see a lot of such sub-division in older properties with large rooms, which is fine as long as you don't get too greedy and make the rooms too small just so you can cram an extra one in.

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                #8
                I think the issue here is whether the opening left by the to be removed doors are still doorways.

                I'd say that morally they are, but I can't rule out a loophole.

                Incidentally, I assume all three doors were fire doors, so that your square was a protected lobby.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by buzzard1994 View Post

                  I disagree - the purpose of the HM legislation is
                  • to ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged over 10 years is not less than 6.51 square metres;
                  • to ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by two persons aged over 10 years is not less than 10.22 square metres;
                  Therefore it is occupancy that defines whether it is acceptable. Removing the wall makes it acceptable for either one or two people.
                  Simple typo, brain moves faster than fingers - removing the doors makes it acceptable.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by buzzard1994 View Post
                    Simple typo, brain moves faster than fingers
                    I often have that problem too.

                    I do have Grammarly add-on for my browser to pick up spelling and grammar errors when typing anything online, but it can't always help if you type a wrong word that could be valid grammar anyway.
                    (And for some reason it doesn't seem to work with the editor on this forum, although it works fine with other VB based fora. Must be a editor setting here).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      No they remain two rooms regardless of the door being removed, nobody has ever said "I'm just going through this doorway to get to the other part of my room" .........

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