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Scottish Government consult on HMO categories

Tuesday 30 April 2019

The Scottish Government are seeking views on adding new categories to the definition of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in relation to accommodation that contract, and transient workers stay in when working away from home.

Improving the management and condition of privately rented properties has been a key focus for the Scottish Government and in 2013, they published the private rented housing strategy A Place to Stay, A Place to Call Home along with various other legislative requirements which have been introduced over recent years to help to improve the sector.

What is a HMO

Introduced in Scotland from October 2000, the licensing of HMO is a crucial element within the private rented sector regulatory framework, helping to improve both physical accommodation standards and the management of tenancy issues. 

Mandatory HMO licensing applies to houses occupied by three or more persons, from three or more families, as their only or main residence.

The consultation

The consultation comprises of 11 questions and is set out in two parts:

  • Part one provides more detail on concerns that have been brought to the Scottish Government's attention in relation to the health and safety of contract and transient workers when living in certain accommodation away from home. It seeks your views on the proposed legislative changes to the HMO licensing regime to address these concerns.
  • Part two seeks your views on the impact of the proposals on island communities, equality groups and businesses.

Responses to the consultation will be used to inform and develop the final policy and impact assessments that will be prepared to expand the definition of HMO, as well as aiming to address the potential health and safety concerns in relation to the accommodation that contract, and transient workers live in.

Information on how to respond to the consultation can be found here. 

Kevin Stuart, MSP Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning said:I believe that contract and transient workers – who often have no choice as to where they stay when they are required to work away from their home - should be afforded the same rights as those who live in shared, rented property as their only or main residence. 

What Propertymark is doing

Propertymark will be creating a survey to gather the thoughts of our members in order to help inform Propertymark’s response to this consultation. An update will be given to members as and when this survey is open.

In the meantime, members can send their views to the Policy team by emailing