A single mum and her seven children are crammed into a housing association flat with just two bedrooms.

But Epsom Council insist the family do not meet the overcrowding criteria given the ages of her children and the size of the flat.

Natasha McLaughlin, 27, from Livingstone Park, Epsom, said: "We are all under each other’s feet. It’s awful. It’s so small.

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"My children are not sleeping because they are all on top of each other. They have not got anywhere to play because there are so many of us."

Ms McLaughlin sleeps in the living room while her one-year-old twins, two-year-old daughter and three-year-old twins all share one bedroom.

Her six-year-old son used to share a room with her nine-year-old son who suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism.

But she said the nine-year-old no longer lets the six-year-old into the room so he has to sleep with either her or the other five children.

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Of her eldest, she said: "In the evening he finds it really hard to unwind and he lashes out."

Ms McLaughlin, who is on the council’s waiting list for accommodation, has lived in the L&Q housing association flat for four years but wants to move somewhere with three bedrooms.

She said: "Epsom and Ewell Council say we are not overcrowded. I’ve tried everything but they are not moving me."

A council spokesman said: "The requirement for social housing within this borough exceeds the housing stock available. This is an adult with seven children.

"Ideally we would be providing this family with a four bedroomed home, however, this housing simply isn’t available and there are a large number of families needing similar accommodation on the waiting list.

"Although the council concedes the situation is far from ideal, we are operating within our statutory duties and the family, due to the ages of the children and size of the accommodation, does not meet overcrowding criteria."

He said he was not able to explain the legal definition for overcrowding that the housing team uses or how it applied to this family.

Under the Housing Act 1985, the space standard is contravened when there are too many people in a home given the sleeping accommodation and floor space.