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A look at housing overcrowding; YOUR VIEW A chance for local charities, voluntary organisations and advice groups to reach our readers TODAY: Joe Michna, Citizens Advice Bureau manager.

Q. What is overcrowding? A. In housing law, there are two separate tests to establish whether overcrowding is taking place. If either or both apply, then the premises are statutorily overcrowded. The tests are where : two or more people of the opposite sex aged ten or over, who are nor not living together as husband and wife, have to sleep in the same room or the number of people sleeping in the accommodation is more than the permitted number. The number of people permitted to occupy a dwelling will depend on the number of rooms available to sleep in and the size of these rooms.

Q. What is permissible overcrowding? A. There are three situations where, although the premises are statutorily overcrowded, the overcrowding is permissible. The three situations are: a dwelling can become statutorily overcrowded as a result of children growing up and reaching the age of ten. This is known as overcrowding by natural growth.

no offence is committed if the cause of the overcrowding is that one of the persons sleeping in the premises is a member of the occupier's family who is staying with her/him temporarily A local authority can give permission for the overcrowding and in this case no offence is committed.

Q. Who is responsible for dealing with overcrowding? A. Local authorities have a general duty to enforce the overcrowding legislation. Offences can be committed by an occupier and by a landlord. The local authority can prosecute both landlords and occupiers Q. What can happen if a dwelling is overcrowded? A. A landlord may be able to take possession proceedings against the occupiers fro breach of contract. This will depend on the terms of the tenancy agreement. An occupier living in overcrowded accommodation may be homeless under homelessness law if it is not reasonable for her/him to continue to occupy the accommodation. A local authority has various powers and duties relate to overcrowding and these include: entering the premises | serving a notice on the occupier serving an abatement order licensing the overcrowding | prosecuting those respon-sible for the overcrowding. Your local authority can provide further advice CABs can also offer advice and help and there are CABs in Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Apr 7, 2014
Next Article:ONLINE VIEWS.

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