Check if your home is overcrowded
Work out if your home is big enough for the number of people who live there. If it’s not, you can get help from the council to find somewhere more suitable to live.
How to check if your home is legally overcrowded
The number of people who should live in your home depends on:
the number of rooms
the size of the rooms
the ages of the people who live there
Only bedrooms and living rooms count. Kitchens, bathrooms or rooms under 50 square feet do not.
There are two tests for overcrowding.
Test 1: overcrowding because of the number and size of rooms
In the tables these rules apply:
children who are between 1 and 9 years old count as half
children under 1 year old are not counted
Number of rooms
|Number of rooms available for sleeping||Number of people who can live there|
|5+||2 per room|
Size of rooms
|Floor area of room (square feet)||Number of people who can live there|
Test 2: overcrowding because of who you live with
Two people of the opposite sex cannot sleep in the same room, unless:
they're in a couple
one or both of them is 9 years old or under
Sometimes overcrowding is allowed
Your home is allowed to be legally overcrowded if:
you apply for the council’s permission, called licensed overcrowding
there’s a guest staying with you for less than 16 days, called temporary overcrowding
children have grown up in the home and reached the age of 1 or 10, called natural growth
Moving because your home is overcrowded
You may get priority on council or housing association waiting lists if your home is overcrowded. You have the right to apply in any of the areas you want to live in Scotland as long as you are 16 or over.
Ask for the housing allocations policy when you apply to check what priority you should get.
If you rent from a private landlord or letting agent
Ask the council for a housing options meeting if you need help to find somewhere else to live. They can help with:
If you rent from a council or housing association
Apply for a transfer to a larger home from your council or housing association.
If the waiting list is long you can:
The council must help if your home is dangerously overcrowded
If your home is a danger to your health, you may be legally homeless. You do not have to be living on the streets to be homeless.
Last updated: 24 July 2023