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Houses In Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Definition of an HMO

An HMO is a term that applies to any living accommodation occupied by 3 or more unrelated persons as their only or main residence, and who share kitchen and/or bathroom facilities. Living accommodation occupied by students during term-time is always regarded as their main residence.


HMO Licensing falls under Part 5 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 as amended

Note for Landlords

If you require an HMO Licence, you can download an HMO Application Pack consisting of:

1) HMO Licence application form

2) Notice of HMO Application

3) Certificate of Compliance

4) Guidance Notes

Your HMO Licence application will be handled by the Council’s HMO Officers who will use the following guidance to determine the standards required at your property before an HMO Licence can be granted: Licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation Guidance Notes for Scottish Local Authorities

HMO Licence Fees

HMO Licence Fees

We cannot accept an HMO licence application unless it is accompanied by the relevant fee.

1) If the application is being posted to Marischal College, please include a cheque for the relevant amount, made payable to 'Aberdeen City Council'.

2) If the application is being handed in at Marischal College reception, the fee may be paid by cheque as above, or by cash/credit card/debit card, using the payment machines in the reception area. If the fee is paid using the payment machines, please attach the receipt to the application form and hand it to the reception staff.

Register of HMO Licence Applications and HMO Licences

The Council is legally required to maintain a public register of HMO licence applications and granted HMO licences. Here is the link to Register of HMO Licence Applications and HMO Licences.

HMO Licence Conditions

Every granted HMO licence is subject to 11 standard conditions. Here is the link to HMO Licence Conditions.

Fire safety

Enforcement of fire safety in HMO properties is the sole responsibility of the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) under Part 3 of the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, as amended. A Fire Safety Risk Assessment for the HMO premises must, by law, be carried out by a competent person. For further information, click on the link or contact the SFRS.

Note for Tenants

If you are living in an HMO (see above definition), ask your Landlord if they hold a current HMO licence. If your landlord doesn’t hold a licence, your home may not meet the HMO standards and may be even be unsafe in terms of gas safety, electrical safety & fire safety.

Contact the HMO Unit to check whether or not your landlord holds a licence, or if you wish any advice about the standard of your accommodation.

Note for Neighbours

Do you live next door to an HMO (see above definition) or are there HMOs in your street? If you are experiencing problems from neighbouring HMOs, contact the HMO Unit for advice. If any such problems include anti-social behaviour, you can also contact the Council’s Antisocial Behaviour Investigation Team (ASBIT) 

HMO Unit Contact Details

HMO Unit, Private Sector Housing Unit
Communities, Housing & Infrastrucutre
Business Hub 1, Lower Ground Floor West
Marischal College
Broad Street
Aberdeen, AB10 1AB

The e-mail address for the HMO Unit is

The contact telephone number for the HMO Unit is 03000 200 292.

The HMO Unit in Marischal College is open between 8.30am – 5pm, Monday – Friday. Visitors to the HMO Unit are welcome but it is recommended that you phone first and make an appointment to visit.

Back to the  Private Housing home page.