COMMON LODGING-HOUSE, "a house, or part of a house, where persons of the poorer classes are received for gain, and in which they use one or more rooms in common with the rest of the inmates, who are not members of one family, whether for eating or sleeping" (Langdon v. Broadbent, 1877, 37 L.T. 434; Booth v. Ferrett, 1890, 25 Q.B.D. 87). There is no statutory definition of the class of houses in England intended to be included in the expression "common lodging-house," but the above definition is very generally accepted as embracing those houses which, under the Public Health and other Acts, must be registered and inspected. The provisions of the Public Health Act 1875 are that every urban and rural district council must keep registers showing the names and residences of the keepers of all common lodging-houses in their districts, the situation of every such house, and the number of lodgers authorized by them to be received therein. They may require the keeper to affix and keep undefaced and legible a notice with the words "registered common lodging-house" in some conspicuous place on the outside of the house, and may make by-laws fixing the number of lodgers, for the separation of the sexes, for promoting cleanliness and ventilation, for the giving of notices and the taking of precautions in case of any infectious disease, and generally for the well ordering of such houses. The keeper of a common lodging-house is required to limewash the walls and ceilings twice a year - in April and October - and to provide a proper water-supply. The whole of the house must be open at all times to the inspection of any officer of a council. The county of London (except the city) is under the Common Lodging Houses Acts 1851 and 1853, with the Sanitary Act 1866 and the Sanitary Law Amendment Act 1874. The administration of these acts was, from 1851 to 1894, in the hands of the chief commissioner of police, when it was transferred to the London County Council.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)