Appendix FM Visa Rules: Accommodation Requirement

Appendix FM Visa Rules: Accommodation Requirement

Any applicant applying for a UK Partner Visa under Appendix FM will need to meet the accommodation requirement.

The adequate accommodation requirement is designed to ensure migrants do not come to the country and end up living in overcrowded or substandard housing conditions.

An applicant will need to provide evidence that:

  1. there will be adequate accommodation for them,
  2. without the need to rely on public funds; and
  3. in accommodation which the family owns or occupies exclusively.  

The accommodation will not be regarded as adequate if-

  1. it is, or will be, overcrowded; or
  2. it contravenes public health regulations.

Immigration Rules Appendix FM

E-ECP.3.4. The applicant must provide evidence that there will be adequate accommodation, without recourse to public funds, for the family, including other family members who are not included in the application but who live in the same household, which the family own or occupy exclusively: accommodation will not be regarded as adequate if-(a) it is, or will be, overcrowded; or(b) it contravenes public health regulations.

Exclusive Occupation

An applicant must provide evidence of how the property is either owned or occupied.

They will also have to prove that they are legally and exclusively occupying the property.

The definition of exclusive occupation can be found in Part 6 of The Immigration Rules.

This states that, irrespective of the ownership, part of the accommodation, like a bedroom, must be for the exclusive use of the applicant and his/her partner.  

You do not need to occupy the house exclusively for it to be considered adequate accommodation under the immigration rules.  

Paragraph 6 only requires that at least ‘part of the accommodation must be for the exclusive use of the family’.

There is no prohibition on a couple living with other family members, provided that there is a part of the house (even if it is just one bedroom) which they occupy exclusively, and their presence in the house does not result in the property becoming statutorily overcrowded.

Overcrowding

The accommodation will not be ‘adequate’ if it is or it will be overcrowded. The rules around overcrowding are generally governed by the following regulations:

  • Sections 324-326 of the Housing Act 1985;
  • Sections 135 to 137 of Part VII of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987;
  • The Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1988 or Section 76 of The Housing (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 No. 1725 (NI. 15).

However, overcrowding is permissible in the following situations:

  • Overcrowding due to a new-born baby or a child crossing one of the stated ages and alternative accommodation arrangements have yet to be made;
  • temporary accommodation– for instance if a family member intends to live in the accommodation for a short time; and
  • when a local authority has given specific permission i.e. licensed overcrowding.

Under the Housing Act, the maximum number of people allowed for a given number of rooms or a given room floor area are:

Number of rooms Maximum number of people allowed
12
23
35
47.5
510
  • Each additional room in excess of 5 = An additional 2 people
  • a child under 1 does not count as a person.
  • a child aged 1-10 years counts as only half a person.

This means children under 10 years old can share a bedroom.

Couples can also share a room.

Other individuals should have separate rooms.

If 2 people aged over 10 years old of the opposite sex have to sleep in the same room and they are not a couple then that house would be considered to be overcrowded.

When calculating the number of available rooms in a property, bedrooms and living rooms that can be used as a bedroom are counted for these purposes.

The room can only be counted if the floor area is larger than 50 square feet.

Any rooms like a kitchen or a bathroom will not be included.     

House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) means “a house which is occupied by persons who do not form a single household”.

This includes hotels, hostels or houses.  

There are separate overcrowding provisions. In this case, you may need to ask the local authority to confirm that there is no objection to an additional person residing at the property.  

Public Health Regulations

The condition of the property must be up to public health standards.

It is very unlikely that any livable residential property contravenes public health regulations in the UK as most of the properties in the UK comply with the respective public health regulations.

However, the accommodation may be deemed to be not adequate if there is any evidence that the accommodation contravenes public health regulations.

A property inspection report by a Chartered Surveyor or local authority can assist with ensuring that all aspects of the rules are met.

The report will provide full details of the accommodation, those in occupation and confirmation of the number of rooms.

Evidential Requirements

You will need to provide evidence that the accommodation you and your partner will live in is ‘adequate’. In order to do this you must do the following:

  1. Submit evidence that you have ‘adequate’ accommodation available
  2. Submit a covering letter from the UK partner stating they will provide you with adequate accommodation

At VisaHelpUK, we offer a “Do Your Own Partner Visa Pack” service where we provide you with a list of documents and template letters based on YOUR specific circumstances.

Perfect if you’re not sure of what documents to provide or what to write in the covering letter.

The documents you will need to include in your application will depend on your circumstances.

You and your partner will be living in rented accommodation
You and/or your partner owns the accommodation you will be living in
You and your partner will be living in a family or friend’s home

If the applicant is applying for an FLR M Visa….

Six items of correspondence addressed to you and the UK partner at the same address

You will need to provide six items of correspondence as evidence that you have been living together since your last grant of leave or from the date that you first started living together, up to a maximum of two years.

The FLR M form provides the following guidance:

  • The items of correspondence should be addressed jointly or in both your names.
  • The dates of the items of correspondence should be spread evenly over the whole period you are relying on.
  • They should be from at least 3 different sources.
  • If you do not have enough items in your joint names, you may also provide items addressed to each of you individually if they show the same address for both of you.
  • For example – Four items of correspondence in joint names to the same address and two items addressed to each partner at the address. In total eight items would need to be submitted.

Examples of acceptable items are listed below. Photocopies are not acceptable.

  • Bank Statements
  • Utility Bills / TV Licence
  • Council Tax Statement
  • NHS/GP Letters
  • HMRC Letters

At VisaHelpUK, we offer a “Do Your Own Partner Visa Pack” service where we provide you with a list of documents and template letters based on YOUR specific circumstances.

Perfect if you’re unsure on what documents to provide or what to write in the covering letter.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this guide is for general information purposes only and is not legal advice. The information is provided by VisaHelpUK and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we can accept no responsibility for its accuracy or for any loss or damages arising from the use of this guide.