Multiple occupancy homes - Application & guidance

Legislation which came into effect on 1st October 2000 introduced the mandatory licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation.  It is now a criminal offence to operate an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation and subject to a conviction and a fine of up to £50,000.

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

HMOs include:

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

The Private Rented Housing Team act as a single point of contact for all matters relating to licensing of HMOs (and cases for landlord registration). 

The teams duties include:

  • Co-ordinating all inspections of the premises
  • Dealing with complaints
  • Enforcement where there is a breach of licence conditions or operation of an HMO without a valid licence.

More information

If you would like a paper application sent to you by post then please contact the Private Rented Team on 01786 237678 or email us.

Neighbourhood Objections and Complaints

Neighbours may raise an objection to a new or renewal application should they consider the landlord or manager is not a fit and proper person, or the premises are not suitable for use as an HMO.

The neighbours may also complain at any time to the Council if they consider an existing licensed HMO is causing undue public nuisance or is a threat to public order or safety, or that the landlord or manager is no longer a fit and proper person.

Complainants and objectors will receive at least 7 days notice should they wish to appear and be given the opportunity to speak to the Planning and Regulation Panel.

Please note that if you are applying for an HMO licence for a property that has never operated as an HMO in the past, you may require planning consent.  We highly recommend that you speak with the Planning Officer before submitting your HMO application.  The Planning Officer can be contacted on 01786 233678.

Decision Process

Your HMO application will be considered within 3 months and the Council has to make a final decision on your application within 12 months.

All first time HMO applications will be determined by the Council's Planning and Regulation Panel, which is a panel made up of Elected Members.  All renewal applications are generally dealt with under delegated authority. 

The extended period is to allow the applicant additional time to obtain any permissions, or to carry out any necessary work that may be required to bring the property up to standard before the licence is issued.

From 1 April 2014 all grant and/or renewal licences will only be granted for a maximum of 2 years (new 2014/15 fees incorporate 10% increase and pro-rated a 3 year regime to a 2 year licence regime).

Houses in Multiple Occupation Overprovision Policy. 

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. 


Application Pack and Other Guidance