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Is your home overcrowded?

It can be very stressful living in accommodation which is overcrowded.

In order to establish whether your accommodation is statutorily overcrowded Wiltshire Council applies the room standards and space standards as defined under Part 10 of the Housing Act 1985.

This is a government standard which is used by all local authorities throughout England. It originates from standards set in 1935. As you can see this is a very old standard which was used at a time when housing conditions were much poorer and people did not have as many personal belongings which take up valuable space.

  • a dining room, lounge and kitchen/diners can be used for sleeping
  • adults of the same sex can share a room
  • a room of 110 sq ft/10.2 m² can be shared by two people
  • a child under the age of one is not counted 
  • children between the ages of 1-10 are treated as 0.5 people


Wiltshire Council will take the following into consideration:

  • The ages of the occupants
  • The gender of the occupants
  • The size of the habitable rooms
  • The size of your household when you moved into your accommodation.

(The calculation will not include any increase during your tenancy due to the birth of one or more children.)

  • a child reaching the age of one or the age of 10
  • a relative moving temporarily into the accommodation
  • A licence being applied for and granted by Wiltshire Council.

However, you may be committing an offence if a relative or friend comes to live with you on a permanent basis which would then mean that your accommodation is overcrowded.


This information will then determine how many people can share sleeping accommodation (the permitted number). The permitted number is calculated in units from 0 to 1 as follows.

Children under 1
Children under 10
People over 10

People over the age of 10 of the opposite sex should not share a room unless they are co-habiting or married.

Bedrooms, living rooms and kitchen/diners are classified as habitable rooms for the purpose of the standard.

The permitted number of people able to sleep in a room is as follows:

Number of rooms
Number of people
1 room
2 persons
2 rooms
3 persons
3 rooms
5 persons
4 rooms
7.5 persons
5 rooms or more
2 people per room


Size of room
Number of people

110 sq ft/10.2 m² or more

2 persons

90 - 100 sq ft/8.4-10.2 m²

1.5 persons

70 89 sq ft/6.5 8.4 m²

1 person

50-70 sq ft/4.6 6.5 m²

0.5 person

Rooms under 50 sq ft/4.6m² are not counted.

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Last updated: 24 January 2017 | Last reviewed: 24 January 2017