Legal advice required on Scottish HMO issue

Legal advice required on Scottish HMO issue

20:53 PM, 19th February 2013, About 11 years ago 14

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Legal advice required on Scottish HMO issueI own a flat in Scotland which my daughter lives in along with two rent paying flatmates. 

I have a difference of opinion with a council housing officer as to whether the flat has to have an HMO or not.

I believe that under the legislation I do not need to have an HMO as my daughter is invisible for the purpose of counting whether there are three different family individuals in the flat.

The council official states that unless my daughter is a part owner of the flat she counts towards one of the three different family individuals. Needless to say the paperwork available can be interpreted both ways

If you are aware of the Legislation in Scotland I can refer to I would be most grateful.

All the best,

Stephen Foster



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12:04 PM, 20th February 2013, About 11 years ago

Thankyou everyone for your comments on the question I raised. In conclusion on the subject it seems that the flat occuppied by one of my children and two further flatmates requires an HMO unless I, as legal owner, live in it, when it would be exempt.

This raises further interesting points that could relate to other property owners in the same situation with a child living in a property that they own, but they do not live in. What happens if the child or a tenant moves in a partner, boyfriend/girlfriend? It seems that the property suddenly falls into an HMO required situation.

Thnak you all once again. Michael Foster
Mark, I am about to join SAL.

12:43 PM, 20th February 2013, About 11 years ago

Hi there

Hoping Fiona Greer is on her tea break or busy in court and we can put our oar in here 🙂

Great you're joining SAL. We will be delighted to have you on board and look forward to being of service to you.

If there are two tenants and one moves in a partner this is still not usually an HMO as the extra partner is not "unrelated" ie they are related by the relationship.

So usually:
Resident owner/landlord plus a couple = not HMO
Child of owner, plus a couple = not HMO
Child of owner plus her two friends = HMO

It hinges on that being a "committed" relationship. I'm not sure that many local authorities actually come round and check on the nature of the relationship but "committed" is the defining word.

If there are three tenants in a licensed Scottish HMO and one moves in a partner that will be an issue if for instance the HMO has been licensed for only three people - the licences have a max. number of tenants on them.

Anyone with any questions as to their rental property and its HMO status, please join SAL and we can individually answer. Or by all means consult TC Young who are excellent.


Industry Observer

8:36 AM, 25th February 2013, About 11 years ago

I can only assume that the Scottish HMO definitions are different to E&W as down here a married couple and a third person would create an HMO - three or more persons forming two or more households and sharing or lacking an amenity etc etc.

Is the definition of an HMO different in Scotland?

Watch also for the status of the two girls occupying. If they are tenants then it would still be an HMO even if all the legal hoops discussed below are jumped through. Resident Landlord only gets exempotion if the other occupiers are only 2 max in number and are LODGERS not tenants.

Or again is that different in Scotland?

9:08 AM, 25th February 2013, About 11 years ago

Pretty much all law around lettings including HMO legislation is different in Scotland. All direct housing law is different in Scotland.

Please if you're letting in Scotland, be sure on every aspect to always take Scottish specific advice. By the very nature of the smaller population and smaller market, most web discussions are usually predominantly written by contributors used to dealing with letting in England, not Scotland.

for example, we've had many a panic call from new landlords who have used English letting documentation and got themselves into some very sticky situations, not realising the difference.

Always best to join SAL and/or consult Scottish letting specialist solicitors to be sure you're on the right side of the Border, legally.

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