Overcrowding

Your home may be overcrowded if it does not provide a separate bedroom for each:

  • Couple
  • Single adult aged 21+
  • Two young people of the same sex aged 10-20
  • Two children under 10

If your home is overcrowded, it is worth thinking about the effect on household members. Children can be particularly affected. According to housing charity Shelter children in overcrowded housing are up to 10 times more likely to get meningitis than children in general. A direct link has been found between childhood tuberculosis and overcrowding.

Overcrowding is also linked to delayed learning, can increase the spread of illness, make it harder for children to find a quiet space to read and do their homework, and cause unsettled sleep patterns. So it can have a significant effect on health, wellbeing, and success at school. As an adult, overcrowding may contribute to poor mental health.

If your home is overcrowded

  • Are there household members who could move elsewhere? See finding somewhere to live.
  • If you own your home you may be able to borrow money to create the extra space you need or to move to a larger home. A financial advisor can advise you about this.
  • You may be able to rent a bigger home in the private sector. If you would need to claim Housing Benefit see help with rent.
  • If you cannot afford suitable private housing please apply for housing. This will tell us that you need larger housing which is important so that we know what new social housing needs to be built. There are currently only a few homes with 4 or more bedrooms, but more are expected to become available over the next few years.
  • If you need one to one advice about looking for alternative housing speak to the Council's Housing Options team

If you are aware of a home that is overcrowded because it is shared by a number of individual adults, please contact Housing Standards on 01283 508578 or 508524.

We can assess whether there is is a health and safety hazard or statutory overcrowding. If there is then the Council can require the owner to take action, which normally means evicting one or more of the occupiers.