HMO licensing information
The licensing system
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All Scottish local authorities are required by law to have a licensing system for Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO). The purpose is to achieve and maintain high standards of service in this part of the private rented sector by ensuring that the HMO owner or their agent is a fit and proper person, and ensure suitability of accommodation.
Properties need to have an HMO licence if it is the main home of three or more people and the people are members of three or more families. HMOs include shared flats and houses, bed-sits, lodgings, communal accommodation such as student residences and hostels. If you are unsure whether or not you need an HMO licence, contact us.
It is a criminal offence to operate an HMO without a licence and the maximum penalty is currently £50,000. An HMO property may not be lawfully occupied without a licence.
The City of Edinburgh Council's Private Rented Services section is a single point of contact for co-ordinating inspections of HMO properties, preparing inspection reports and enforcement where there is a breach of licence conditions, including operation of an HMO without a valid licence.