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A 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 4 main classes of property that are exempt from the HMO licensing scheme.
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.
Fees correct as of 1 April 2019 but subject to change.
Refer to Scottish Government's web page HMO: A Guide for Landlords.
There has since been a number of changes to the HMO physical standards, the most up to date version can be found at Annex A of the attached statutory guidance.
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 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 neighbours of HMOs via the Scottish Government's web page HMO: A Guide for Tenants .
Licences will be granted if:
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.
Please contact us using the details below 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.
Where a licence has been suspended or revoked, please contact us using the details below 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.
Please note that fees lodged with any Licence application are non-refundable.
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000