An under-occupied dwelling is a dwelling deemed to be too large for the needs of the household living in it, in terms of excess rooms and more specifically bedrooms. Under-occupation is opposed to a situation of overcrowding. The classic cause of under-occupation is older individuals or couples remaining in their home after their children have grown up and left; family breakdown can also result in under-occupation.
For statistical purposes, a dwelling is defined as under-occupied if the household living in it has at its disposal more than the minimum number of rooms considered adequate, and equal to:
- one room for the household;
- one room per couple in the household;
- one room for each single person aged 18 or more;
- one room per pair of single people of the same gender between 12 and 17 years of age;
- one room for each single person between 12 and 17 years of age and not included in the previous category;
- one room per pair of children under 12 years of age.
- Living conditions in Europe - housing
- Database table:
- The importance of housing systems in safeguarding social cohesion in Europe, August 2004, footnote 35 on p. 67
- Under-occupation of social housing: Housing Benefit entitlement House of Commons Library, UK, 3 June 2014, p. 1