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HMO Licenses and Why They Are Essential

25 January 2018

As cities across Scotland ready themselves for the forthcoming influx of tourists and students, recent surveys have shown that there is a growing concern regarding the number of landlords not complying with House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) requirements.

 Many landlords are not aware of the need for a license and the consequences of failing to obtain this. As we head through the summer towards the start of new academic terms, there are many properties that are used as let properties for students.


When is an HMO licence needed?


Your home may be a house in multiple occupation (HMO) if:

At least three people live there and;

  • The people who live there belong to three or more families (if the owner lives there, they and their family are not counted) and;
  • You share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
  • A HMO guarantees that the accommodation is well maintained and safe.

The owner of the property is required by law to have an HMO licence provided by the local authority.  Before permitting a licence the local authority will check that the property meets the required standards.

The property will be checked to ensure the rooms meet the minimum size requirements, adequate facilities, acceptable heating, lighting and ventilation.

An HMO licence is also required to be renewed, you can always check via the local authority if your landlord has a current/active licence in place prior to entering any tenancy.

If you are unsure as to whether or not your property requires an HMO licence please contact your local authority for clarification.  As recent insurance articles have shown, hefty fines have been handed out to landlords who have failed to comply.  Fines have been reported at upwards of £40,000.

It is also worth pointing out that insurers must be made aware of any changes to the policy and this includes notification of any HMO lets.


Get in Touch


Our specialist property team delivers a market-leading proposition to a wide variety of clients including landlords, letting agents and property managers.  For further information on any property related matter please get in touch with us here.


Jamie McKenzie, account executive and property specialist at Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers

Jamie McKenzie
Property Account Executive

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