Direct Line says property listings are breaking the law in terms of how they list the number of bedrooms a home has.
Almost half of the homes listed for sale in the UK incorrectly list the number of bedrooms the property has, insurer Direct Line claims.
Its analysis shows that 48% of homes listed for sale contain at least one bedroom that is listed incorrectly.
Furthermore, 36% are listing rooms as singles when they are too small for anyone over the age of 10 to occupy.
The Housing Act of 1985 states that a child under the age of 10 is officially ‘half a person’ and can occupy a room which is smaller than 50 square feet.
However, to class a room as a single for occupation by anyone over 10 it must have floor space of between 50 square feet and 70 square feet.
Estate agents are also being inaccurate when describing double bedrooms.
The research found 17% of homes were advertising double bedrooms that are exceptionally small and would barely house two people.
Under the Housing Act 1985 double bedrooms should be at least 110 square feet.
Some bedrooms ‘legally uninhabitable’
One property in Liverpool was adverting bedroom measuring just 69 square feet as a double bedroom.
Some properties even have bedrooms that are legally uninhabitable. Of those analysed 6% had bedrooms that are smaller than 50 square feet.
The worst place for this was Sheffield where 15% of advertised bedrooms are too small to be habitable.
“Anyone who has purchased a property knows that marketing literature can often be misleading, but it is concerning to see so many properties across the UK being marketed by estate agents as having single and double bedrooms which are barely fit for purpose,” says Nick Brabham, head of Select Premier Insurance.
“We urge buyers to check the measurements of bedrooms before putting in an offer on a house; otherwise they may find their ‘double’ bedroom barely has enough space for a bed.”
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Dodgy ads around the country
Estate agents in Bristol are the least accurate with 66% of properties for sale in the city listing at least one incorrectly described bedroom.
This is followed by Sheffield where 60% of listings are inaccurate then Liverpool and Birmingham which both have 57% inaccuracy.
If you want a bedroom you can fit a bed in head north of the border, Edinburgh estate agents are only inaccurate on 17% of properties.