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Multiple Occupancy

If a property is shared by three or more tenants who aren’t related, the property is deemed to be a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) and must have a licence from the council. This HMO licence ensures that the property is managed properly and meets certain safety standards. It is the landlord’s responsibility to obtain the HMO licence if required.

A property is likely to require an HMO licence where, there are three or more other people, and:

  • you don’t belong to the same family

  • you share some facilities, eg. A bathroom or kitchen

  • the accommodation if your only or main home (for students, the term time residence counts as the main home)

When a tenant lives with the homeowner (their family) this doesn’t count as a ‘qualifying persons’ when deciding whether or not a property is an HMO.

The council carried out the following checks before granting an HMO licence:

  • Is the landlord a fit to hold a licence, does the landlord and the person who manages the property have any criminal convictions, eg. for fraud or theft?

  • Is the property properly managed, is there a written tenancy agreement stating the landlord and tenant responsibilities (covering rent, repairs and other rules)

  • Does the property meet the required standards?

HMO licences are granted for a period of 3 years.  Further information can be found in the below links:

Aberdeen City Council HMO

Aberdeenshire Council HMO



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