Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Where a property meets the definition of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) for Council Tax purposes, the owner of the property remains liable at all times. The current definition is defined in The Council Tax (Liability of Owners) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2003:

A dwelling occupied, or which could be occupied, by persons who do not constitute a single household and which is occupied by one or more persons each of whom:

  • is a tenant of, or has a licence to occupy, part only of the dwelling; or
  • has a licence to occupy, but is not liable (whether alone or jointly with other persons) to pay rent or a licence fee in respect of the dwelling as a whole.

If the property is found to be an HMO, the owner may apply for and receive discounts or exemptions if the tenant(s) are eligible. Please see our Council Tax page for a full list of occupied discounts and exemptions.

To ensure that we hold the correct person liable for the property, where a tenant or owner believes the property to be an HMO we will ask to see the lease agreement for the property. We will then rule on whom is liable using the above definition.

Note, the definition of an HMO is different for HMO licensing purposes. Please visit the House in Multiple Occupation (Licenses and Permits) page for more information.


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