Birmingham City Council financial challenges - time to Reset

To find out more about the budget and section 114 notice visit our budget information page

My home is too small

How to work out if your home is overcrowded

We consider your home overcrowded if:

  • two people who sleep in the same room are over 10 years old, of a different sex, and not in a relationship
  • the number of people living in the property exceeds the 'space standards' for that property

Any room you can sleep in can count. This includes, for example, a living room, even if it is not actually used to sleep in. Bathrooms and kitchens do not count.

For calculation purposes:

  • a child under 10 years old counts as 'half a person'
  • a child over 10 years old counts as one person
  • do not include children under 1 year old in the total

Space standards

The smallest floor area considered large enough for someone to sleep in is:

  • 4.6 to 6.4 square metres (50 to 69 square feet) for half a person
  • 6.5 to 8.3 square metres (70 to 89 square feet) for one person
  • 8.4 to 10.1 square metres (90 to 109 square feet) for one and a half people
  • 10.2 square metres (110 square feet) for two people

Things to consider if you live in an overcrowded home

If your rented housing is not a suitable size, it is unlikely that your landlord will make the changes needed to suit you. You may need to consider moving.

When looking for alternative housing, you must consider whether you can afford it. This is particularly important if you want to move to a larger property.

Can I receive an offer of social housing if my house is overcrowded?

There are a large number of households in the city who live in overcrowded homes. Unless the overcrowding is significant, you are unlikely to be made a high priority if you want to apply for social housing.

Even if you do apply for social housing, a lack of available properties will mean you may have to wait for a long period of time. For example, between September 2021 and September 2022, we only had six 5-bedroom properties available for us to let.

Page last updated: 3 May 2023

rating button