Homes in multiple occupancy licence
See publications section below for the outcome of the recent Overprovision Consultation.
What is a House of Multiple Occupation?
A HMO is a house or flat occupied by 3 or more unrelated persons who share one or more basic amenity with each other i.e a toilet, personal washing facilities and a facility for the preparation or provision of cooked food. The term can apply to hostels, shared flats, bedsits, student halls of residence and supported accommodation.
How do I apply?
You must complete an application form and submit it to the HMO Licensing team, Fife Council, 3rd Floor Rothesay House, Rothesay Place, Glenrothes, KY7 5PQ.
In addition to the application form and schedules the following essential documentation must also be included when submitting a HMO application:
- Gas Safety Certificate (completed within the last 12 months)
- Electrical Installation Condition Report (completed within the last 3 years)
- Portable Appliance Test (completed within the last 12 months)
- Certificate of Service for Portable Fire Extinguishers (Completed within the last 12 months)
- Certificate of Service for Fire Warning & Automatic Detection Systems (Completed within the last 12 months)
- Fire Risk Assessment (completed or reviewed within the last 12 months)
- Tenancy/Occupancy Agreement
- Energy Performance Certificate
- Annual property insurance (this must include confirmation of property address being insured, expiry date of policy and proof of public liability insurance up to a minimum cover of £5 million)
- 2 sets of Plans to a scale of 1:50 or 1:100 (for new applications only). Further advice outlining the information required within the plans can be found in table 1, page 8 of the HMO Guidance (Schedule 8).
Application packs can be requested by contacting the HMO Licensing team at HMO.Licensing@fife.gov.uk or calling 01592 583162.
Fife Council offer a free pre-application consultation appointment service. On the applicant’s request a member of the HMO Licensing team will provide one to one assistance in relation to the successful completion of the HMO Application. An appointment can be made by contacting the HMO Licensing team at the email address or phone number above.
Please note at this time EPES cannot offer a pre-inspection of any HMO property.
How much does a HMO Licence cost?
Please note all fees are non-refundable in the event of a HMO Licence application being refused. We can accept payments via cheque, BACS or over the telephone. It is important when applying you advise us of your preferred payment method.
Details of the current HMO Licensing fees can be found at the bottom of this page
What happens once I apply?
If your application is valid (application form fully completed and all supporting documentation provided and in date) you will receive an email from the HMO Licensing team confirming the date and time the property will be inspected by a member of our Economy, Planning and Employability Services (EPES) team. For new applications a member of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will accompany the EPES officer at the inspection. EPES and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service may make recommendations for any necessary work to be carried out to bring the property up to a standard suitable for habitation. In these circumstances a report will be sent to you from the HMO Licensing team. Please note Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will send their report directly to you.
We will also confirm the date on which the public notice of application should be displayed outside the property. Please note public notices should only be displayed once advised to do so by Fife Council.
Valid applications are passed to Police Scotland in order to undergo the necessary fit and proper person checks to ensure the landlord(s) and agent (if applicable) are considered fit and proper to manage a HMO property.
The HMO Licensing team will also consult Fife Council’s planning and building standards & public safety departments as part of the HMO application process. This is to ensure any property for which a HMO Licence is being applied for has the necessary planning permission to operate as a HMO and has the required certificates of completion or building warrants for any additional work carried out to the property.
Applicants who are unsure of whether their property has planning permission to operate as a HMO are urged to contact Fife Council’s planning department at email@example.com or call 03451 551122 for guidance.
Applicants who are unsure of whether their property has the necessary certificates of completion or building warrants for any additional work carried out to their property are urged to contact Fife Council’s Building Standards and Public Safety Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03451 551122 for guidance.
Only once the HMO Licensing team receive satisfactory comments from EPES, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Police Scotland, Planning and Building Standards and Public Safety will the HMO Licence be issued.
If your application is invalid (application form incomplete or supporting documentation missing or expired) your entire application will be returned to you including the fee (if paying by cheque). No payment will be taken by BACS or telephone for invalid applications.
How long does it take to grant my licence and how long does it last?
We have 12 months from the date of application to make a decision on the licence. Typically, applicants can expect the process to take between 4 and 6 months. The HMO licence lasts for a period of 3 years once granted.
What if someone makes an objection to my HMO application?
If we receive an objection from a member of the public or one of our partners (Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service etc) the HMO application will be heard at the next available Regulation and Licensing Committee. The applicant will receive a copy of the objection(s) and be advised of their right to respond to the points raised in the objection. They will also be invited to attend the next hearing of the committee where they will be given the opportunity to speak in support of their application. The objector(s) will also be invited to the committee hearing where they will be given the opportunity to speak in support of their objection. The committee will decide on the day whether to uphold the objections or move the application to the next stage of the application process.
Who should apply?
Any registered landlord who wishes to rent out their property to 3 or more unrelated people, by law, are required to obtain a HMO Licence. It is a criminal offence to operate a HMO without a licence and the maximum penalty for doing so is currently £50,000.
Please note that our HMO Policy and Procedures are under review and may be subject to change in the near future. All changes will be publicised on Fife Direct and through a communications and consultation plan that will be put in place. Should you wish any further information about the review please check back for up-dates.