Houses in Multiple Occupation

A House in Multiple Occupation (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.

If you are renting out a house like this (or intend to do so), you must have an HMO Licence. This is a requirement under Part 5 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 as amended. 

Note, the definition of an HMO is different for Council Tax liability purposes. Please visit the Council Tax HMO page for more information.


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

Apply for an HMO licence

If you require an HMO Licence or to renew an HMO licence, please complete the online application form below.

Guidance notes outlining the HMO Application process can be found in the related content box at the bottom of this page.

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

We cannot accept an HMO licence application unless it is accompanied by the relevant HMO licence fee. You will be required to make a card payment for the relevant fee upon submission of your online application.

If a refund of HMO Fees is requested, the amount of any refund will depend on the stage to which the application has been processed prior to withdrawal.

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 Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

HMO licence conditions

Every granted HMO licence is subject to 11 standard conditions.

Withdrawing pending HMO licence applications or surrendering HMO licences

If you wish to withdraw your pending HMO licence application or surrender your HMO licence at any stage, please confirm in writing to:  Depending on the stage of the pending application or granted licence, you may be eligible for a partial refund of the fee you paid when you submitted the application. If such a refund is due, we will write to you confirming the amount to be refunded then we will refund that amount directly to the credit/debit card which was used to pay the fee when the application was submitted.

Register of HMO licences and licence applications

The Council is legally required to maintain a public register of HMO licence applications and granted HMO licences.

Note for tenants

If you live in an HMO, 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 unsafe in terms of gas safety, electrical safety and fire safety. You can check if your landlord holds a current licence by using the link above. Please email the HMO unit if you require any advice about the standard of your accommodation. 

Notes for neighbours

Do you live next door to an HMO or are there HMOs in your street? If you are experiencing problems from neighbouring HMOs, contact us for advice on the email address below. If these problems include antisocial behaviour, you can also contact the Community Safety Team.

Contact details

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