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Most council’s in England work to a minimum bedroom size of 6.5 square metres and this does not usually change even if there are sloping roofs. Under Nottingham’s HMO licensing scheme however, Nottingham City Council maintains that bedroom floor sizes need to be at least 8 square metres and where the ceiling height is less than 1.53 metres due to a sloping roof for example, this area is excluded when calculating the minimum 8 square metre overall floor size requirement for a bedroom.

Dominic Parr, a local Nottingham Landlord had initially been refused to let out an attic room, because the council claimed it was too small for someone to sleep in, but this week he successfully defended the decision of the Lower Residential Property Tribunal (First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) at the Upper Tribunal in London after the Nottingham City Council appealed the lower tribunal decision.

Mr Parr argued that the room was big enough, measuring over 9.29 square metres, with ample space for a bed. However, Nottingham City Council said when the sloping roof was taken into account there was not much more than 5.85 square metres of living space and ‘ought not to have been regarded as suitable for occupation as a bedroom at all’ as the minimum amount of space required by the council is 8 square meters. However in the case heard by the Upper Tribunal in London, Judge Martin Rodger QC sided with Mr Parr, commenting that 'packing themselves into shared houses was a price students were willing to pay for the pleasure of social interaction and cohesive living’ and added that ‘the basic idea of a house shared by a number of individuals, not forming a family, but who nevertheless wish to share communal living facilities and a significant level of social interaction, is readily understood.’

Mr Parr is now able to let the attic room, but only to a person in full time education who lives in it for a maximum of 10 months a year.


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