Are you un­know­ingly let­ting your prop­erty with­out the proper li­cense

The Oban Times - - Property -

Do you let shared ac­com­mo­da­tion? Or do you share your home with peo­ple who are not mem­bers of your fam­ily – friends or lodgers? If so, it may be a house in mul­ti­ple oc­cu­pa­tion (HMO), and you may need a li­cence.

Who needs an HMO li­cence?

A house is an HMO if it is the only or prin­ci­pal res­i­dence of three or more qual­i­fy­ing per­sons from three or more fam­i­lies. If you are not sure whether you need an HMO li­cence for your prop­erty, you should con­tact the lo­cal author­ity for ad­vice. It is a crim­i­nal of­fence to op­er­ate an HMO with­out a li­cence. The need for a li­cence does not de­pend on rent be­ing paid, or on any for­mal ten­ancy ar­range­ments be­ing in place. The ap­pli­ca­tion for a li­cence must be made by the owner, even if the prop­erty is leased to or man­aged by another per­son or or­gan­i­sa­tion.

How do I ap­ply?

You must con­tact your lo­cal author­ity for a li­cence ap­pli­ca­tion form and in­for­ma­tion about the pro­ce­dure, the stan­dards you will need to meet and the fees. Some parts of the pro­ce­dure are set out in law, in the Civic Gov­ern­ment (Scot­land) Act 1982. Guid­ance for lo­cal au­thor­i­ties on how to op­er­ate the li­cens­ing sys­tem is also pro­vided by the Scot­tish Ex­ec­u­tive, but each author­ity will have slightly dif­fer­ent pro­ce­dures. The li­cens­ing author­ity has to sat­isfy it­self: that you, and any man­ager of the HMO, are a fit and proper per­son to hold a li­cence and that the prop­erty is suit­able for use as an HMO, for the pro­posed num­ber of peo­ple. What are the re­quired stan­dards? The li­cens­ing of HMOs seeks to con­trol stan­dards in three main areas: the suit­abil­ity of a prop­erty owner to be an HMO land­lord, his man­age­ment of the premises, and the phys­i­cal con­di­tion and fa­cil­i­ties of the ac­com­mo­da­tion. These things must be checked be­fore a li­cence is granted; the li­cence is then usu­ally granted with con­di­tions which re­quire the stan­dards to be main­tained through the pe­riod of the li­cence.

For help in nav­i­gat­ing your HMO, con­tact West to­day!

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