Bedroom too small by 0.2m2. Has anyone ever disputed the room size regulations?

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    Bedroom too small by 0.2m2. Has anyone ever disputed the room size regulations?

    My bedroom is too small by 0.2m2, and so the council refuse to let me rent it out. I have to convert the living room instead. I have argued that those regulations are for rooms in houses with no living rooms (mine has 2), no regular cleaner, no garden, no spacious surroundings, no underground nearby, etc etc. The council argues that these are not guidelines that they can interpret, but are set in stone and they have to follow. I have a hearing set with the tribunal. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    #2
    Rules is rules.
    ​​​​​​
    Regret your argument is like explaining to judge that yes you were doing 78mph but no other traffic, dry clear day, excellent road surface, car just serviced, you RoSPA gold badge. Sorry chum.

    'umbly suggest re-measure ALL rooms carefully. Twice.
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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      #3
      Thank you. The thing is, unlike your road driving analogy, taking this lovely room off the market benefits no-one. Also, whilst small windowless conversions are quite rightly regulated against, I think it is madness that a room large enough with a small double with lots of additional storage space is taken off the market. I mean, should licensed HMO's not be catering to a wide range of budgets? These regulations are very insular and take no account of people who only need to be close to work for 2 days a week, or students who go home on weekends etc.

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        #4
        I had a conversation with my local council about room sizes in 2015. I have got a small bedroom which relies on sufficient communal space to be within the regulations. I measured the rooms in question with a laser measure and the resulting combination of sizes was within the regs (just). I put this to the council. Response was:

        "I can now confirm after consultation within our department, that we will, in this instance allow the communal space as you have it.

        It is just within the space limits for a communal kitchen-diner, as published on our website at the moment.

        We advise you to keep an eye out for any changes in this standard if you put in any new HMO applications in the future."
        My argument was based on being just on the right side of the threshold, which is of course a stronger position than being just on the wrong side of the threshold.

        Have you checked and double checked the measurements?
        There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

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          #5
          The 2018 changes to HMO regulations mandated minimum room sizes for the first time, so the Council are correct that its a statutory requirement on which they are not able to exercise discretion. You can sometimes increase the room size a little by removing built in cupboards or by removing chimney breasts or even by borrowing a bit of extra space from the room next door with a re-located partition wall.

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            #6
            Thank you DPt57. I just heard back from a solicitor who confirmed that there is NO chance I will be able to win my case.!! Wish I had heard back from her ages ago.
            It's such a small difference, I wonder if removing plasterboard off 2 walls might suffice...

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              #7
              One of my rooms is a tichy bit too small but my council have allowed it. I've got a big living room, a big kitchen, and big gardens f&b. My council have charged me the 5 bedroom rip-off licence fee so they'd better allow it!

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                #8
                What are your room sizes and will you be letting as a single or double?

                Are you measuring wall to wall or skirting to skirting?
                Old skirting boards used to be 25mm thick which could easily add up to 0.2m.sq when all around a room.
                Even modern 15mm ones could be getting there if it's a double room.

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                  #9
                  I think you should explore every option for gaining the 0.2sqm before you give up. Even re-hanging the door to add the threshold space can make a difference.

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                    #10
                    I don't have HMOs, but certainly for selective licensing nobody has ever been round to check my measurements.
                    I suggest as it's so close that you get a different tape measure and measure again.

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                      #11
                      I think that with a selective licence, the room size restrictions are advisory only, although they are rarely couched that way in the licence conditions and anyone openly defying the Council may have a battle on their hands.

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