Housing Act 1935

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1935 c. 40
Year1935


Housing Act, 1935

(25 & 26 Geo. 5.) CHAPTER 40.

An Act to make further and better provision for the abatement and prevention of overcrowding, the re-development of urban areas in connection with the provision of housing accommodation therein, and the reconditioning of buildings, to make provision for the establishment of a housing advisory committee and of commissions for the management of local authorities' houses, to amend the enactments relating to the housing operations of public utility societies and other bodies, to provide for the consolidation of housing accounts, to amend the enactments relating to housing; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[2nd August 1935]

Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Overcrowding, Re-development and Re-conditioning.

Part I.

Re-conditioning.Overcrowding, Re-development and

Abatement of overcrowding.

Abatement of overcrowding.

S-1 Duty of local authority to inspect and to make reports and proposals as to overcrowding.

1 Duty of local authority to inspect and to make reports and proposals as to overcrowding.

(1) It shall be the duty of every local authority before such dates as may be fixed by the Minister as respects their district, to cause an inspection thereof to be made with a view to ascertaining what dwelling-houses therein are overcrowded, and to prepare and submit to the Minister a report showing the result of the inspection and the number of new houses required in order to abate overcrowding in their district, and, unless they are satisfied that the required number of new houses will be otherwise provided, to prepare and submit to the Minister proposals for the provision thereof.

(2) If at any time or time after effect has been given by a local authority to the provisions of the foregoing subsection it appears to them that occasion has arisen therefor, or the Minister so directs, it shall be the duty of the authority to cause a further inspection to be made and to prepare and submit it a report and proposals as aforesaid as respects their district or any part thereof, and, where the Minister gives a direction under this subsection, he may, after consultation with the local authority, fix dates before which the performance of the said duties is to be completed.

(3) Subsection (2) of section twenty-five of the Act of 1930 shall cease to have effect.

S-2 Definition of overcrowding.

2 Definition of overcrowding.

(1) A dwelling-house shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be overcrowded at any time when the number of persons sleeping in the house either—

(a ) is such that any two of those persons, being persons ten years old or more of opposite sexes and not being persons living together as husband and wife, must sleep in the same room; or

(b ) is, in relation to the number and floor area of the rooms of which the house consists, in excess of the permitted number of persons as defined in the First Schedule to this Act.

(2) In determining for the purposes of this section the number of persons sleeping in a house, no account shall be taken of a child under one year old, and a child who has attained one year and is under ten years old shall be reckoned as one half of a unit.

S-3 Offences in relation to overcrowding.

3 Offences in relation to overcrowding.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, if after the appointed day the occupier or the landlord of a dwelling-house causes or permits it to be overcrowded, he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five pounds and to a further fine not exceeding two pounds in respect of every day subsequent to the day on which he is convicted on which the offence continues.

(2) The occupier of a dwelling-house which is occupied on the appointed day shall not be guilty of an offence under this section in respect of the overcrowding thereof so long as all the persons sleeping in the house are persons who were living there on the appointed day and thereafter continuously live there, or children born after that day of any of those persons, unless—

(a ) suitable alternative accommodation is offered to the occupier after the appointed day and he fails to accept it; or

(b ) suitable alternative accommodation is so offered to some person living in the house who is not a member of the occupier's family and whose removal is reasonably practicable in all the circumstances, and the occupier fails to require his removal.

(3) Where after the appointed day a dwelling-house which would not otherwise be overcrowded becomes overcrowded by reason of a child attaining one of the ages referred to in the last foregoing section then, if the occupier applies to the local authority for suitable alternative accommodation or has so applied before the date when the child attains that age, he shall not be guilty of an offence under this section in respect of the overcrowding of the house after the date of his application, so long as all the persons sleeping in the house are persons who were living there on the date when the child attained that age and thereafter continuously live there, or children born after that date of any of those persons, unless—

(a ) suitable alternative accommodation is offered to the occupier on or after the date when the child attains that age, or, if he has applied before that date, is offered at any time after the application, and he fails to accept it; or

(b ) the removal from the house of some person not a member of the occupier's family is on that date or thereafter becomes reasonably practicable having regard to all the circumstances (including the availability of suitable alternative accommodation for that person), and the occupier fails to require his removal.

(4) Where the persons sleeping in an overcrowded house include a member of the occupier's family who does not live there but is sleeping there temporarily, the occupier shall not be guilty of an offence under this section in respect of the overcrowding of the house unless the circumstances are such that he would be so guilty if that member of his family were not sleeping in the house.

(5) The landlord of an overcrowded house shall be deemed to cause or permit it to be overcrowded—

(a ) if, after notice in writing that it is overcrowded in such circumstances as to render the occupier thereof guilty of an offence has been served upon the landlord or his agent by the local authority, the landlord fails to take such steps as it is reasonably open to him to take for securing the abatement of the overcrowding, including if necessary legal proceedings for possession of the house; or

(b ) if, when letting the house after the appointed day, the landlord, or any person effecting the letting on the landlord's behalf, had reasonable cause to believe that it would become overcrowded in such circumstances as to render the proposed occupier thereof guilty of an offence, or failed to make inquiries of the proposed occupier as to the number, age and sex of persons who would be allowed to sleep in the house;

and not otherwise.

S-4 Power of Minister to increase the permitted number temporarily to meet exceptional conditions.

4 Power of Minister to increase the permitted number temporarily to meet exceptional conditions.

(1) Where, on the representation of the local authority and after consultation with the Central Housing Advisory Committee appointed under this Act, the Minister is satisfied that dwelling, houses consisting of few rooms, or comprising rooms of exceptional floor area, constitute so large a proportion of the housing accommodation in the district of the authority, or in any part thereof, that the application of the provisions of the First Schedule to this Act throughout the district, or that part thereof, immediately after the appointed day would be impracticable, he may by order direct that, in relation to those houses or to such of then as are of a specified type, the said provisions shall, during such period, not exceeding three years from the coming into operation of the order, as may be specified therein and any extension of that period which the Minister may allow, have effect subject to such modifications for increasing the permitted number of persons as may be specified therein, and the order may specify different modifications in relation to different types of houses.

(2) After consultation with the said Committee and the local authority, the Minister may by order revoke any such order as aforesaid, or vary the provisions of any such order either as respects the modifications specified therein or as respects the houses to which the modifications apply or as respects both.

S-5 Power of local authority to authorise the temporary use of a house by persons in excess of the permitted number.

5 Power of local authority to authorise the temporary use of a house by persons in excess of the permitted number.

(1) Where it appears to the local authority, having regard to the existence of exceptional circumstances, to be expedient so to do, they may, on the application of the occupier or intending occupier of a dwelling-house in their district, grant him a licence authorising him to permit such number of persons in excess of the permitted number as may be specified in the licence to sleep in the house.

(2) A licence granted under this section shall be in the prescribed form and may be granted either unconditionally or subject to any conditions specified therein.

(3) A licence granted under this section shall, unless previously revoked, continue in force for such period (not exceeding twelve months) as may be specified therein, but may be revoked by the local authority at their discretion by means of a notice in writing served upon the occupier and specifying a...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT