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Last edited 31 Mar 2022
See also: Types of dwelling
 Approved document B definition
'... a unit where one or more people live (whether or not as a sole or main residence) in either of the following situations.
- A single person or people living together as a family.
- A maximum of six people living together as a single household, including where care is provided for residents.'
 Approved document L1A definition
 Approved document M2 definition
'...a house or a flat. However, new blocks of flats built as student accommodation are to be treated as though they are hotel/motel accommodation in respect of space requirements and internal facilities.'
 UK Census definition
The 2001 Census definition of a dwelling is:
'a self-contained unit of accommodation. Self-containment is where all the rooms (including kitchen, bathroom and toilet) in a household’s accommodation are behind a single door which only that household can use. Non-self contained household spaces at the same address should be counted together as a single dwelling. Therefore a dwelling can consist of one self-contained household space or two or more non-self-contained household spaces at the same address.
'Ancillary dwellings (eg former ‘granny annexes’) are included provided they are self-contained, pay separate council tax from the main residence, do not share access with the main residence (eg a shared hallway) and there are no conditional restrictions on occupancy.'
The English Housing Survey Housing Stock Report, 2014-15, prepared by the Department of Communities and Local Government, defines a dwelling as:
- The household spaces it contains are ‘part of a converted or shared house’, or
- Not all of the rooms (including kitchen, bathroom and toilet, if any) are behind a door that only that household can use, and
- There is at least one other such household space at the same address with which it can be combined to form the shared dwelling.
This definition was repeated in the English Housing Survey, Profile and condition of the English housing stock, 2018-19, Published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government in August 2020.
The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (HGRA - also known as the Construction Act) suggests that “dwelling” means: ‘…a building or part of a building occupied or intended to be occupied as a separate dwelling, together with any yard, garden, outhouses and appurtenances belonging to it or usually enjoyed with it.’
- ‘new construction: the erection of an entirely new structure, whether or not the site on which it was built was previously occupied;
- ‘restoration: repairs by which at least one dwelling or other structure is effectively reinstated and where substantial parts of the existing structure are used;
- ‘extension: the enlargement of buildings by which space is added;
- ‘conversion: structural changes carried out within a building.’
- Approved documents.
- Definition of institution.
- Domestic building.
- Flat definition.
- Housing stock / building stock.
- Original dwellinghouse.
- Original house.
- Residential definition.
- Room for residential purposes.
- Sheltered housing definition.
- Shop definition.
- Student bedsits and separate dwellings.
- Terraced house.
- Types of building.
- Types of dwelling.
- Use class.
- Use of railway carriages as holiday homes and permanent housing.
- Workplace definition.
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