Sharing a flat without an HMO licence in Edinburgh
When can multiple tenants rent a flat without an HMO licence in Scotland?
Most bigger flats with multiple sharers require an HMO licence, but it is a general rule with some exceptions. Sometimes 3 or even 4 students can legally rent a non-HMO property. In short, Houses of Multiple Occupation are any living accommodation occupied by more than 3 persons who are members of more than two families. The occupants of an HMO property would share a toilet and /or bathroom and/or kitchen.
So the main restrictions are: the number of permitted occupiers and their relationships.
What is a ‘family’?
For the purpose of the HMO legislation, tenants are treated as family members if they are:
- A couple, or
- Related to each other, or
- One of them is a relative of one member of a couple and the other is a relative of the other member of that couple.
What is a ‘couple’?
A couple means two persons who:
- Are married or civil partners, or
- Live together as husband and wife or in an equivalent same-sex relationship.
What does ‘related’ mean?
Allowed family members are:
- Parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews or nieces.
- The half-blood relationships count as the whole-blood relationships
- Stepchildren are treated as biological children.
- A person de facto brought up or treated as a child by the other person should be treated as the other person’s child.
So what does it really mean for student flat sharers?
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