Advice and support about multiple occupancy homes

Following the meeting of the Environment and Housing Committee on 17th September 2015 approval was given for the adoption of the revised Supplementary Guidance SG05 and Houses in Multiple Occupation Overprovision Policy.

The effect of this new policy is to introduce a new concentration threshold of 1% within the Electoral Wards of Castle, Stirling East, Stirling West, Dunblane and Bridge of Allan. The concentration level outwith these areas will be limited to 5% for each Census Output Area, for any new first time HMO applications. This policy will apply irrespective of planning permission being required for “change of use”.

The Policy came into effect from 29th October 2015.

We strongly advise anyone seeking to create an HMO, to renew an existing HMO or change the licence holder through acquisition of an existing HMO property to contact the Private Rented Team on 01786 237678 or by email. 

Legal Duty

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

The Council is required by law to license any House in Multiple Occupation which is the principal residence of three or more unrelated persons. The aim of the licensing system is to increase the protection for tenants and neighbours by making sure accommodation is safe well managed and of good quality.

HMO's include:

  • shared flats and houses
  • bedsits
  • lodgings and communal accommodation such as student residences and hostels.

How to object or complain

When either a new HMO or a renewal licence is applied for, a 'site notice' must be displayed for a period of 21 days. This should be at an external location in close proximity to the property, so as to ensure members of the public are able to view it clearly.

Anyone may object to a licence application

For an objection to be Valid it must be for specific reasons. The following are examples of common Specific objections which the Regulatory Committee will consider:

  • The applicant is not a fit and proper person to hold a licence.
  • Repeated water leaks from HMO
  • Repeated unruly/anti-social behaviour of tenants
  • Repeated noisy parties
  • Noise nuisance due to impact noise caused by sanded floorboards.
  • Possible fire hazards
  • Lack of proper refuse storage or presentation

Having considered the objection the Planning and Regulation Panel will come to a decision on the licence application.

Neighbour notification

Granted Applications: A condition of licence requires the licence holder to give notice in writing to every occupier of premises in the same building and the occupiers of adjoining premises which share a common wall, advising them of the name of the licence holder or managing agent, a contact address, daytime telephone number and emergency telephone contact number.

Renewal applications

It is recommended that a record is kept of specific complaints regarding a licensed HMO which can be considered should you wish to object at the renewal of licence stage.

Who to contact for information or advice.

Housing Services
Stirling Council
Private Rented Housing Team
Allan Water House
Kerse Road Stirling
Tel: 01786 237678


Anyone may complain about a licensed or unlicensed HMO at any time, should they consider it to be causing either undue public nuisance, is a threat to public order or safety, or the owner, landlord, manager is no longer considered a fit or proper person.

Officers will investigate and where appropriate attempt to resolve any matters where possible. In the more serious cases, enforcement action will be considered.

Please Note: all complaints should be made to the Private Rented Housing Team at the above address:

When you have gone through our complaints process, you have the right to take your complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman at 4-6 Melville Street, Edinburgh EH3 7NS, Tel: 0870 011 5378

You can get this information on tape, in Braille, large print and various

If you need this information in a different language please phone 01786 404040 and arrangements will be made to have the relevant information provided.

Further information…