Houses in Multiple Occupation: Guidance on Planning Control and Licensing

Guidance on planning control and licensing in relation to Houses in Multiple Occupation.


16. The purpose of HMO licensing is to achieve and maintain high standards of service in this part of the private rented sector by ensuring that the HMO owner and any agent is a fit and proper person, and ensuring the suitability of accommodation. An authority may also consider whether granting an HMO licence will result in an overprovision of HMOs in a locality. Scottish Government guidance on the licensing system is given in Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation: Statutory Guidance for Scottish Local Authorities [3] . This guidance focuses on the procedures and activities involved in operating the HMO licensing scheme, and includes advice on the interface with planning controls.

17. The licensing of HMOs seeks to ensure high standards in terms of; the suitability of a property owner (and their agent) to be a HMO owner (or to act for the owner); the suitability of the living accommodation itself; and allows the local authority to consider overprovision. A licensing authority has discretion to set any reasonable conditions it thinks fit. These issues are matters properly dealt with through the HMO licensing regime and are therefore not matters for planning authorities to take into account in the granting of planning permission. A decision on the granting of planning permission must take account only of relevant planning issues, and should make no assumptions about the potential behaviour of tenants.


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