Since 1935 the “Space Standard” has been a calculation of the number of people, their ages and gender, based on the number of rooms in the dwelling above a given size.
Breach of the statutory overcrowding standard is a criminal offence. When the standard was originally devised it was aimed at dealing with overcrowded conditions in the private rented sector before the Second World War.
The current legislation that defines the calculation is Part X of the Housing Act 1985.
Local authorities can take legal measures against landlords of overcrowded properties on a tenant’s behalf.
Often the Space Survey Report is used to demonstrate overcrowding to a Local Authority, where re-housing is requested.
Alternatively, and in increasing cases, a Space Survey is used to demonstrate that the property will not be overcrowded if further people come to live there. This is useful in immigration status cases for demonstrating sufficien accommodation is available when making a Home Office visa application. These are sometimes called Immigration Accommodation Survey or UK Property Inspection Reports for a UK Visa.