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Medium: Online (3rd party)
ASAI Code 7th Edition: 2.4(c), 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10
The advertisement was a website listing on Daft.ie concerning the sale of a property in Artane.
The complainant considered the advertisement misleading as the house was advertised as having 4 bedrooms, but one of these bedrooms was an attic conversion that the complainant did not consider was compliant with planning, building, or fire regulations.
The advertisers expressed surprise that a complaint had been lodged as they said no one had expressed concern to them at viewings of the property nor had anyone written to them concerning the attic bedroom. They specified the dimensions of the room as 4.89m x 3.13m and stated that the ceiling height was over 2 meters which they believed was sufficient to call the room a bedroom. They also advised that the room had been used as a master bedroom for some years.
The Executive requested further information from the advertisers as to the status of the extension’s compliance with planning and building regulations.
No further response was received from the advertiser.
The ASAI Executive referred to a previous case (37093) which included information obtained from Dublin City Council’s Planning Department as to the characteristics of a standard bedroom. The advice received was that a bedroom should meet the following 4 criteria:
1. The room must have at least 2 points of egress (i.e. exit). It should be accessible from the house (commonly through a door), and then have one other exit, be that a window or another door to the outside. This may be obvious, but if a room does not have a window, then it cannot be classified as a bedroom.
2. A bedroom ceiling needs to be at least 2.4m tall for the floor area which is above 1.5m high. It is okay if some portions of the ceiling are below this level, but at least 50% of the ceiling needs to be a minimum of 2.4m in height. Ceiling height is not usually an issue, however, if a converted attic is considered as a bedroom, then the 50% coverage at the minimum height is a real factor.
3. A bedroom must have one other method of exit beyond the entrance point. A door to the exterior works as an exit point, and so does a window. According to the current building regulations, fire escape windows must provide:
• An unobstructed opening of at least 0.33 m²
• A minimum opening width of 0.45m
• A minimum opening height of 0.45m
• The lowest part of the window must be between 0.8m – 1.1m from the floor. Note a step under the window can be installed to meet this requirement
• If the bedroom has only a roof light or a small slither of a window, then it cannot be classified as a bedroom.
4. The size of a single bedroom must be a minimum of 2.1m in width and have a minimum floor area of 7.1 m². Note that the minimum floor areas excludes built-in storage space
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ initial response.
The Committee also noted the information provided in a previous case regarding the characteristics of a bedroom, particularly the requirement that 50% of a bedroom must be at the minimum height of 2.4m. The Committee noted that the advertisers had stated that the ceiling height was over 2m. However, no exact height had been provided. In view of the fact that substantiation that the attic room could rightfully be considered a bedroom had not been provided, the committee considered the advertisement was in breach of Code Sections 4.01, 4.04, 4.09 and 4.10 of the Code.
The advertisement should not appear in the current form unless evidence is provided for the claims made in the advertising.