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Spouse Visa: How to meet the adequate accommodation requirement?

14 August 2019 #Immigration


Under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, an applicant must provide evidence that there is adequate accommodation available to them, which the family owns or occupies exclusively, without recourse to public funds.

In order to assess adequacy, the accommodation must not be: 

  • overcrowded; or
  • contravene public health regulations

Overcrowding

The Housing Act 1985, section 324 – 326 provides clarity as to what constitutes as overcrowding. This involves making an assessment using the room standard and space standard test. The room standard makes an assessment on the basis of the number of people and gender of people who can sleep in one room. The basic rule is that a child under the age of 10 can share a room with another and so can couples. Whereas, the space standard is assessed on the basis of the number of people who may sleep in accommodation of a particular size. 

The room standard (s325) 

  1. The room standard is contravened when the number of persons sleeping in a dwelling and the number of rooms available as sleeping accommodation is such that two persons of opposite sexes who are not living together as husband and wife must sleep in the same room. 
  1. For this purpose—

(a)children under the age of ten shall be left out of account, and

(b)a room is available as sleeping accommodation if it is of a type normally used in the locality either as a bedroom or as a living room. 

The space standard (s326) 

  1. The space standard is contravened when the number of persons sleeping in a dwelling is in excess of the permitted number, having regard to the number and floor area of the rooms of the dwelling available as sleeping accommodation. 
  1. For this purpose—

(a)no account shall be taken of a child under the age of one and a child aged one or over but under ten shall be reckoned as one-half of a unit, and

(b)a room is available as sleeping accommodation if it is of a type normally used in the locality either as a living room or as a bedroom. 

  1. The permitted number of persons in relation to a dwelling is whichever is the less of—

(a)the number specified in Table I in relation to the number of rooms in the dwelling available as sleeping accommodation, and

(b)the aggregate for all such rooms in the dwelling of the numbers specified in column 2 of Table II in relation to each room of the floor area specified in column 1

No account shall be taken for the purposes of either Table of a room having a floor area of less than 50 square feet.


Table I

Number of rooms

Number of persons

1

2

2

3

3

5

4

5 or more

2 for each room

 
Table II

Floor area of room

Number of persons

110 sq. ft. or more

2

90 sq. ft. or more but less than 110 sq.ft.

70 sq. ft. or more but less than 90 sq. ft.

1

50 sq. ft. or more but less than 70 sq. ft.

½


What counts as a room?

Clearly bedrooms constitute a room but living rooms which can be used as a bedroom also counts. 

Owns or occupied exclusively

Owns or occupied exclusively does not necessarily mean that the whole of the accommodation must be owned or occupied by the family, but rather at least a part of the accommodation must be for the exclusive use of the family. For example, renting a ‘room’ in a house is considered to be exclusive occupation.

What evidence to provide?

Evidence which can be used to demonstrate adequate accommodation includes tenancy agreements, title deeds, mortgage documentation and letters from family or friends who may be providing you with accommodation.

It would be acceptable for the applicant or sponsor’s family member to provide accommodation, as long as the family member provides a letter confirming they consent to the family residing with them, any conditions of this arrangement (such as rent) and that there is sufficient space for the family to reside in which can be demonstrated through title deeds for example.

If you would like to discuss how you could satisfy this requirement, our expert immigration specialists are available to assist.

Clarkslegal, specialist Immigration lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Immigration matter please contact Clarkslegal's immigration team by email at immigration@clarkslegal.com by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
Disclaimer
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Bhavneeta Limbachia

Bhavneeta Limbachia
Solicitor

E: blimbachia@clarkslegal.com
T: 020 7539 8019
M: 0777 581 5811

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Immigration team
+44 (0)20 7539 8000