Minimum room sizes

We have prepared the following guidance on room sizes, based on national guidance published by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

We have taken into account the unique size and occupancy levels of shared houses in Canterbury and balanced these against the need to ensure tenants are provided with rooms that are functional in size, shape and layout.

If a room is smaller than the minimum size acceptable, a legal notice can be served on the landlord either prohibiting the use of the room or limiting the number of people who may occupy it. This does not mean that the tenant who currently occupies the room has to leave, but when they do leave the landlord must not re-let the room.

One person flatlet or bedsit

Rooms used for:  

Room type Minimum size
Sleeping, living and cooking 11.0 m sq (120 sq ft)
Sleeping and living only 9.0 m sq (100 sq ft)
Living and cooking 9.0 m sq (100 sq ft)
Sleeping (with separate living room) 6.5 m sq ( 70 sq ft)
Living 6.5 m sq ( 70 sq ft)
Cooking 4.5 m sq ( 50 sq ft)

We do not consider single-room bedsits to be suitable for more than two people. When a child is present with two adults (only in units of two rooms or more) then the child should have a room of their own, or there should be an increase of at least 3 m sq (30 sq ft) in the size of the bedroom or the living room. 

Flatlet or bedsit for two people

Room type Minimum size
Sleeping, living and cooking 16.5 m sq (180 sq ft)
Sleeping and living only 14.0 m sq (150 sq ft)
Living and cooking 10.0 m sq (110 sq ft)
Sleeping (with separate living room) 10.0 m sq (110 sq ft)
Living 6.5 m sq ( 70 sq ft)
Cooking 4.5 m sq ( 50 sq ft) 

Communal rooms in shared houses

Shared by up to five people

Room type Minimum size
Kitchen 7.0 m sq ( 75 sq ft)
Kitchen / diner 11.5 m sq (125 sq ft)
Living or dining room 11.0 m sq (120 sq ft)

Shared by six to ten People

Room type Minimum size
Kitchen 10.0 m sq (110 sq ft)
Kitchen / diner 19.5 m sq (210 sq ft)
Living or dining room 16.5 m sq (180 sq ft)

For properties occupied by more than ten people, you should contact our Private Sector Housing Team. 

Bedrooms within shared houses

Occupied by one person

Room type Minimum size
With separate living space 6.5 m sq ( 70 sq ft)
Without separate living space 9.0 m sq (100 sq ft)

Occupied by up to two persons

Room type Minimum size
With separate living space 10.0 m sq (110 sq ft)
Without separate living space 14.0 m sq (150 sq ft)

Size alone may be misleading. It is important that the shape and layout of the room allows for a standard size bed, wardrobe, desk and chair to be accommodated with enough extra space for circulation. 

Note - We will work to these standards when deciding what improvements (if any) are required.

A - Z of council services