Rent and charges in 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.

Licence information

Stirling Council, like all Scottish councils, is required by law to introduce a licensing system for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). The aim is to increase the protection for tenants and neighbours by making sure accommodation is safe, well managed and of good quality.

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

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 (HMOs), are essentially shared accommodation, including:

  • shared flats

  • student flats

  • bedsits

  • lodgings and bed and breakfast accommodation where these are a person’s principal place of residence.  

They also include:

  • staff accommodation

  • hostels

  • and other communal accommodation such as student residences.

The Private Rented Sector Housing Team act as a single point of contact for all matters relating to licensing of HMOs. This includes:

  • co-ordinating inspections of premises

  • preparation of reports

  • 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 printed copy of the HMO document or you would like more information or guidance, please contact Housing Services:

telephone: 01786 237678


Stirling Council - Standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation

  • Bedroom where common livingroom is available (Single Room 6.5sq metres) or (Double Room 10.5 sq metres)

  • Bedroom where no common livingroom available (Single Room 10 sq metres) or (Double Room 16sq metres)

  • Bedsit (Single Room 13sq metres) or (Double Room 19sq metres)

Communal Livingroom

  • 3-6 persons 11sq metres

  • 7-10 persons 16.5sq metres

  • 11-15 persons 19.5sq metres

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.

In addition, neighbours may complain at any time to the Council should they consider an existing licensed HMO:is causing undue public nuisance or threat to public order or safety the landlord or the manager is no longer a fit or proper person.

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

The decision process

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

The extended period is to allow applicants additional time to obtain any permissions, or to carry out necessary work that may be required before the licence is granted.

Should the 12-month period be insufficient, the Council may in exceptional circumstances apply to the court to extend the licensing period. This is only likely to happen if you have arranged for an extensive amount of work to be carried out.

Applications that meet the standards and do not attract any local objections will be granted and the licence will be sent to you.

Applications will only require to be heard by the Planning and Regulation Panel where:

  • all first time HMO applications
  • objections have been received
  • the property does not meet the standards

  • the completed site notice has not been returned to the Licensing Section.

The inspection report will detail any works needed to comply with the standards.

The Regulatory Committee meets monthly. Should your application need to be heard, a letter will be sent inviting you, or your representative, to attend.

You will also be sent copies of all papers and objections to the application the Committee will be considering.

Issue of licence

Within 7 days of grant of licence you will receive a letter confirming the terms and conditions on which the licence has been granted and advising you of any right of appeal to the court.

Once the licence document is received by you, you should arrange to display the licence and a set of standard conditions attached to it in a prominent position within the premises.
The letter sent to you will also detail how to comply with a new condition which has been introduced by the Council requiring you to notify the grant of licence to every occupier of premises within the same building and the occupiers of all premises and adjoining buildings which share a common wall with your premises.
You will be provided with a style of notice and you will require to provide your neighbours with the name of yourself, of your managing agent, a contact address and daytime telephone contact number and an emergency telephone number.
You will require to give notice within 21 days of receiving your licence and will have to confirm to the Licensing Section that your neighbours have been duly notified.