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Houses in multiple occupation and shared accommodation problems

This section looks at the Scottish legislation and issues associated with houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). It also considers some common problems where tenants share accommodation or have joint tenancies.

HMOs post August 2011

On 31 August 2011 the legislation covering the licensing of House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) changed. 

Definition of an HMO

An HMO is a house which is the only or principal residence of three or more unrelated persons. 

Rights of occupants

The rights and protection given to occupants of HMOs depends firstly on whether the occupant is a tenant. 

Shared tenancy problems

The precise legal status of the occupant is of importance in an HMO as it determines their rights in relation to a range of matters including repairs, eviction, succession and rent. This section also looks at problems with joint tenancies. 

Subletting and assignation

This section deals with issues arising from subletting, subtenancies and assignation. 

Other problems in HMOs

This section examines some of the common problems and disputes that arise in HMOs. 

Standards of accommodation

There is no enforceable code or set of regulations that applies universally to houses in multiple occupation, although there are general standards. 

Local authority powers in relation to HMOs

Local authorities have potentially a very wide range of powers available to control and regulate HMOs. 

Local authority action

A local authority has a very wide range of powers to take action in respect of HMOs. But in comparison, its duties are relatively limited. 

HMO furniture and furnishings

In respect of furniture and furnishings, landlords have duties under various pieces of legislation. 

This content applies to Scotland

Last updated: 3 December 2020