Rearranging one-bedroom flat with only two windows to get two bedrooms

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    Rearranging one-bedroom flat with only two windows to get two bedrooms

    Hi all

    I'm looking to buy an investment property in London. I've come across a flat which is a great size (730 sq ft), but it's currently laid out to have only one bedroom. It's got two windows for the entire flat, an overly large bathroom and a kitchen that's separated off entirely, as well as a disproportionately large hall. It's on the first floor.

    Basically it's got easily enough room to be a pleasant 2 bedroom flat with two bathrooms for renters. None of the internal walls are load-bearing.

    I'm aware there are rules about 'habitable' rooms having ventilations/windows/two exits including a window for fire safety. I've never been able to pin down exactly what the rules are and there's definitely a lot of opinion that differs.

    I've attached the floor plan of the flat. Would anyone with some experience recommend how they'd set it out?

    Not ideal due to lack of windows but you coukd do the following. Also depends what type of tenant you are looking for. This would be my solution to attract a professional tenant.

    Make current bedroom and reception room smaller eg 4m in length with built in storage.

    Put the kitchen next to the bathroom by removing shower and boiler. New Boiler into current bedroom or change to storage heaters for heating and geyser for hot water.

    Take down internal wall between kitchen and hall and make this the living room. Put large sliding clear glass doors between old kitchen and reception room to give light to reception room. Blinds that can be drawn for privacy. Reception room becomes bedroom 2. Not all tenants will like the fact that the living room does not have its own light and the bedroom doors will have to be open.

    You will need permission from the freeholder and will most likely have to pay for the consent to alter.


      Thanks BBVA - much appreciated.

      I wondered if I'd run into problems if I moved the living room into the kitchen. Do living rooms count under 'habitable room' laws? Currently the kitchen only has one exit which I already thought was illegal.

      Thanks again


        I think the kitchen and living room together would be very small without removing walls and it would put tenants off not having a window. The hallway is a huge waste of space. You would need to speak to building control what would pass regarding fire escapes.


          I think building control might have something to say about your plans. When I was laying out some flats about 15 years ago, I was told that you must not need to go through another room to access a bedroom. Also escape route should not take you through a kitchen, (as that is where fire is likely to break out.)

          If you look at the plans as shown, you can see that they seem to have observed these principles. I would guess the only option would be to use the living room as a bedroom, and not have a living room, but I would use the flat 'as is' so that it still meets Building regs, and will continue to do so.


            I guess if, as bbva suggests - I put the kitchen in the space of the boiler/shower and took some space from the bedroom - then put that kitchen behind a door- that would work?

            There don't really seem to be any hard and fast rules about this? Googling around there's lots of anxiety about exits through kitchens - but landlords seem to have reached compromises along the lines of sprinklers in the kitchen, automated fire curtains, heat detectors etc etc. It's all very vague!

            It would be great if there was just a rule I could read and apply, but that doesn't seem to exist?


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