Housing in Multiple Occupancy

A House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) is one which is the principal residence of three or more unrelated persons. HMOs include:

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

If you operate an HMO, it must be licensed. It is a criminal offence to operate an unlicensed HMO and could lead to a conviction and fine.

Licence fees

Table of fees applicable from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.

HMO Licence type – new and renewal valid for 2 years

Fee per HMO unit

Up to 5 occupants


Up to 10 occupants


Up to 20 occupants


Up to 50 occupants


Up to 100 occupants


Over 100 occupants


HMO block discount (for each additional property owned by the same landlord with an identical footprint)


Late application fee


We do not apply any additional charges for property inspections or variations to the licence conditions.


A block discount of 65% applies for each additional property with an identical footprint, owned by the same landlord. First time requests for a block discount will only be awarded where both of these criteria apply:

  • all tenancies within the properties meet the provisions laid out in the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 - Schedule 1 (Section 5 - Student Let)
  • each property is of identical design, layout, floor area, furnishings and provision of amenities


If you submit an application and fee but wish to cancel your application before it is approved, you will receive a refund of 30% of the fee paid. If you voluntarily revoke your licence after it has been granted, you will be entitled to a refund of 15% of the original fee paid for every full year that the licence has still to run, based on a 2 year licence.

How to apply for or renew an HMO licence

To apply or renew your licence you’ll need to download and complete an application form. You will also need to include a cheque for the required amount detailed in the table above. If you are unable to pay by cheque we can accept payment by Debit/Credit Card over the phone by calling 01786 237722.

Download the application form, guidelines and checklist

Read the HMO over provision policy before you apply.

Send your completed application to:

Private Rented Housing Team
Stirling Council
Room 10
Allan Water House

Other forms and documents

  • HMO standards – defines the minimum standards for HMO accommodation
  • Fire standards – describes the fire safety requirements for HMO properties
  • Draft public notice - you must display this outside the property for 21 days starting on the day you submit your application
  • Certificate of compliance – you must complete and submit this after 21 days of displaying the public notice
  • Supplementary planning guidance – including Stirling Council’s overprovision policy
  • Legionella risk assessment and log – to be completed at least annually and on a change of tenant
  • Draft neighbour notification – to be circulated to all neighbours once your HMO licence is granted

HMO over provision policy

In 2015 an over provision policy was approved which introduced a new concentration threshold of 1% within the electoral wards of Stirling North (formerly Castle Ward, Ward 4), Stirling East (Ward 6), Stirling West (Ward 5), Dunblane and Bridge of Allan (Ward 3). The concentration level outside of 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’.

Read the HMO over provision policy