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Amenity Standards for Privately Rented dwellings

Minimum Standards for Short-term and Medium-term Temporary Accommodation

The guidance in this section covers accommodation that is provided as means of temporary accommodation for persons without an alternative place of residence.

This may cover the use of hotels, hostels, and bed and breakfast accommodation as temporary housing for homelessness individuals and families. This guidance will also cover HMOs that are used as refuges or supported housing.

Space Standards for Sleeping Accommodation

Room sizes where cooking facilities provided in a separate room or kitchen

  • room size less than 6.5m² - not suitable
  • room size over 6.51m² - 1 occupant
  • room size over 10.22m² - 2 occupants
  • room size over 14.9m² - 3 occupants
  • room size over 19.6m² - 4 occupants
  • room size over 24.2m² - 5 occupants

Room sizes where cooking facilities provided within the room

  • room size less than 10.22m² - not suitable
  • room size over 10.22m² - 1 occupant
  • room size over 13.9m² - 2 occupants
  • room size over 18.6m² - 3 occupants
  • room size over 23.2m² - 4 occupants
  • room size over 27.9m² - 5 occupants

Please note:

  • in no case should a room be occupied by more than 5 persons. The standard is to be applied irrespective of the age of the occupants
  • no persons of the opposite sex who are aged 12 and over should have to share a room unless they are living together as partners, and both are above the age of consent or are lawfully married
  • all rooms must have a minimum floor to ceiling height of at least 2.14m over not less than 75% of the room area. Any floor area where the ceiling height is less than 1.53 m should be disregarded


  • the premises should have adequate provision for heating. All habitable rooms and bathrooms should be provided with a fixed space-heating appliance
  • the appliance must be capable of efficiently maintaining the room at a minimum temperature of 18ºC when the outside temperature is -1°C
  • fixed space heating appliance means fixed gas appliance, fixed electrical appliance or an adequate system of central heating, operable at all times

Facilities for the Storage, Preparation and Cooking of Food

Wherever practicable, each household should have exclusive use of a full set of kitchen facilities including:

  • Cookers

    • Single Occupancy - a cooker with a 2-burner hob plus an oven and grill
    • Family Occupancy - a cooker with a 4-burner hob plus an oven and grill
  • Sink

    • a sink with an integral drainer and with a constant supply of hot and cold water and properly connected to the drainage system
  • Food and utensil storage

    • provision of a storage cupboard with a minimum capacity 0.4 m³
    • tThis provision is in addition to any base unit cupboards provided below the sink/drainer
  • Refrigerator

    • provision of a refrigerator with a minimum capacity of 0.14 m³
  • Kitchen Electrical Sockets

    • a minimum provision of two double 13-amp sockets situated at worktop height in addition to any sockets provided elsewhere in the letting.
  • Worktop for the Preparation of Food

    • the worktop should be secure, fixed and of impervious material and have a minimum surface area of 1000mm x 600mm.

Shared kitchen facilities may be provided in the ratio of no less than one set for every 10 persons, irrespective of age. Such kitchen facilities should compare with the standards in the above table except for the following change of provision:

  • the storage cupboard of a minimum capacity 0.14 m3 must be provided per bedroom whose occupants use the kitchen and this cupboard must be lockable

in addition, the following facilities should be provided within each bedroom, or within the total accommodation occupied exclusively by each household:

  • a worktop for the safe preparation of food that has a minimum surface area 1000mm x 600mm
  • a refrigerator that has a minimum capacity 0.14 m³
  • another storage cupboard that has a minimum capacity of 0.4 m³

Alternative Kitchen Facility Provision

The kitchen used by management of the Hotel, Hostel or B&B to provide breakfast may be included when calculating the one in ten ratios, unless it is not available, does not meet the conditions above or is deemed unsuitable for use by residents because:

  • of the size of the kitchen and the equipment provided in it. For example, in a commercial kitchen some equipment may be dangerous or unsatisfactory for use by residents; or
  • the unsatisfactory location of the kitchen in relation to the accommodation it is to serve

In premises providing a mix of kitchens for shared and exclusive use, one set of shared kitchen facilities should be provided for every 10 persons that do not have a kitchen for their exclusive use. The kitchen used by management to provide breakfast may be included in the one in ten calculations subject to the above conditions.

In smaller establishments of not more than three storeys and that do not provide more than 30 bed spaces, communal cooking facilities may be provided in one area of the premises more than one floor distant from some bedrooms. In such cases, these kitchens must be provided in association with a suitable dining room or dining rooms of adequate size calculated based on 1m2 per bed space. This should include one area of at least 15m2. Dining room facilities should be provided with adequate seating provision.

Shared kitchen facilities should be made available for use 24 hours per day, subject to any representation from the owner/manager, which must be agreed by the Local Authority.

Toilet and Washing Facilities Provision

  • Communal Toilets

    • 1x WC per every 5-persons irrespective of age (50% of WC provision must not be contained within shared bathrooms
  • Wash Hand Basins

    • 1x basin in each bedroom (min. size 500mm x 400mm)
    •  1 x basin in each communal WC
    • constant supply of hot and cold running water to each basin
    • 300mm high splash back above each basin
  • Communal Baths and Showers

    • 1x bath (min. size 1700mm x 700mm) per every 8-persons irrespective of age; or
    • 1 x shower (min. size 800mm x 800mm) per every 8- persons irrespective of age
    • 1 x communal bath per 20-persons irrespective of age when all bedrooms have ensuite showers or exclusive shower provision

Please note:

  • these facilities must be within a reasonable distance of each user and not more than one floor distant
  • the number of persons having the exclusive use of a toilet, bath or shower should not be included in the calculations

Other Facilities

In accommodation used by families where young children can be expected there should be the provision of an indoor safe play area(s) that is located away from sleeping accommodation and cooking areas.

In addition to the above standards, in HMO accommodation used as safe refuges for persons escaping domestic violence the following should be provided:

  • a secure door entry system
  • a safe outside smoking area that complies with current legislation

In all HMO accommodation that is provided as means of temporary accommodation for persons without an alternative place of residence adequate fire safety precautions must be in place. Full consultation with the Local Authority and the Fire and Rescue Service is required.


All upholstered furniture and soft furnishings (including beds, mattresses, pillows, and cushions) provided for the use of the tenants, including any furniture that have been left in the property by previous tenants for the use of the current or future tenants, must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.


Last modified on 04 January 2024

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