Have you ever wondered what constitutes a bedroom? Turns out, there’s no legal definition for a bedroom in Australia.
There is, however, consensus as to what constitutes a bedroom. More often than not, it comes down to how big and functional a room is, rather than the existence of a window. While there are set requirements under the Building Code of Australia, these change frequently.
Today, a bedroom is considered a ‘habitable room’, along with living rooms, kitchens, studies and dining rooms.
What it should have
Architects might deem the minimum size of a bedroom to have a floor space of 2.7 metres by 3 metres, but agents generally look at a room a little differently when advising owners how to advertise their property.
The question posed will typically be:
Does the room comfortably fit a bed (adult sized), a bedside table and some form of wardrobe?
If the room is missing a window, does it have a source of light instead? This could be a skylight or a smoked-glass door.
If this is the case, you might see the room plugged in adverts as a bedroom (rather than a study), but you might want to skip sleeping there unless it’s a really decent skylight!
It should have the ability to let natural air in (through a window, not just a door) and let natural light enter the room.
The room should also have an entrance door to be classified as a bedroom.
According to the ABS’ latest data, in 2016 there was a lower proportion of properties with 2 bedrooms or less, as well as a lower proportion of dwellings with 4+ bedrooms. All in all, 23.5% of households were living in homes with 2 bedrooms or less, and 30.4% were in 4+ bedroom properties.
Does it need a wardrobe?
It does not need to have a closet to be considered an official bedroom. Of course, wardrobes are typically expected in newer homes, but if you’re renting an older property you might require a more creative approach to stowing your clothes.
When it’s not quite a bedroom
As a landlord, if you have a room that doesn’t hit all these marks, you could probably get away with calling the room an ‘office’, ‘nursery’, or – the ultimate catch-all – a ‘bonus room’.
So what can you call a room that doesn’t fit these requirements? Based on your state, you could get away with calling it an “office,” “nursery,” or the ultimate catch-all, “bonus room.” Because bedroom or not, just about any indication of extra space will make most renters’ eyes light up.