Licence - House in Multiple Occupation
What is an HMO?
An HMO is a property which is let out to 3 or more unrelated persons where facilities are shared and where the property is the main residence of the occupants.
The need for a licence does not depend on rent being paid, or on any formal tenancy arrangements being in place.
For further information on HMO standards see our standard HMO licence
The HMO licensing system is separate to the Landlord Registration Scheme
and you are required in law to register and pay a separate fee.
As with all let properties, the Landlord is responsible for their tenants and must ensure that their behaviour does not cause alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance to neighbouring residents.
Mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) was introduced in October 2000. A licence is required for every HMO unless the type of accommodation falls within one of the 4 main classes which are exempt from the HMO licensing scheme.
There are four main classes of property that are exempt from the HMO licensing scheme.
- Properties where all the occupants (or at least one member of each family) are owners.
- Properties owned by communal groups, established as a co-operative housing association, the management of which is undertaken by general meeting.
- Properties occupied by members of a religious order.
- Accommodation provided as part of a service registered with the Care Commission as:
- A care home service
- An independent health care service
- A school care accommodation service, or
- A secure accommodation service.
Flats or bedsits which are otherwise separate are considered part of one house if they share cooking, washing or toilet facilities. Resident landlords and members of their family living with them are not counted in calculating the number of occupants, so they only need a licence if they have three or more tenants living with them.
Applications must be made to the local housing authority.
The fee covers a 3 year licence and will depend on the number of residents.
HMO with less than 10 occupants:
- £504.00 - where the application is granted.
HMO with 10 or more occupants
- £624.00 - where the application is granted.
Fees correct as of 1 April 2016 but subject to change.
There has since been a number of changes to the HMO physical standards, the most up to date version can be found here
In certain cases, where there are 6+ tenants, an application for a Change of Use must be applied for under Town and country Planning (Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1997 where the change of use constitutes a development. This should be clarified prior to applying for the HMO licence to avoid the situation where an HMO licence is granted but planning permission is refused.
For assistance contact email@example.com
Application Evaluation Process
The owner of the house is responsible for obtaining an HMO licence from the local authority. Before awarding a licence, the authority will make sure that acceptable standards are met in three categories.
- Fit and proper person - the landlord, and any agent managing the property, must be considered a fit and proper person to hold a licence. The local authority will decide this based on individual circumstances. Clackmannanshire recently launched a voluntary landlord accreditation scheme
- Tenancy management - ensuring there are proper tenancy agreements which set out the rights and responsibilities of the tenants and the landlord. This should prevent exploitation or harassment of tenants, and should also help in taking action if tenants' behaviour causes any nuisance to neighbours.
- Physical conditions - including space, facilities for cooking and washing, and safety of the building. See Annex 1
The local authority sets the standards required and also sets the fees charged for a licence application.
Guidance for Landlords sets out more details of the scheme, the licence application process and the kind of standards required as per regulation summary, see above.
There is also advice for tenants
and for the neighbours of HMOs.
Licences will be granted if:
- the house is or can be made suitable for multiple occupation
- the applicant is a fit and proper person and the most appropriate person to hold the licence
- the proposed manager has control of the house, and is a fit and proper person to be the manager
- the management arrangements are satisfactory
What information should the applicant submit
Copy of occupancy agreement
Gas safety certificates
Evidence of all electrical Portable Appliance Testing
Duration of application process
A licence application must be determined within 12 months. If the council has not determined the application the applicant will be able to act as though their application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the 12 month target completion period.
Apply for a house in multiple occupation licence
Supply a certificate of compliance
Application to temporarily licence a house in multiple occupation
Application to renew a licence for a house in multiple occupation
Application to change a licence for a house in multiple occupation
Failed Application Redress
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.
You may appeal to sheriff against the decision of the licensing authority
Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.
The sheriff may reverse or modify the authority's decision, or he may return the case to the authority to reconsider, with his reasons
Licence Holder Redress
Where a licence has been suspended or revoked:
Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.
You may appeal to sheriff against the decision of the licensing authority. Any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made.
If a licence is granted and you wish to appeal against it being granted you may do so to the sheriff within 28 days of the decision being made.
Any complaints relating to noise. pollution should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
An officer will investigate any non antisocial behaviour noise complaints or public health nuisance issues
Voluntary landlord accreditation scheme
Please note that fees lodged with any Licence application are non-refundable.
For Further Information Contact
Licensing Administrator, Development & Environment
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: +44 (0)1259 452534