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.

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 10
Children under 100.5
People over 101

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 roomsNumber of people
1 room2 persons
2 rooms3 persons
3 rooms5 persons
4 rooms7.5 persons
5 rooms or more2 people per room


Size of roomNumber 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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