26 Apr 2017

All you need to know about letting property to students

All you need to know about letting property to students

If you’re a landlord thinking of letting to students, it’s likely you will require a House in Multiple Occupancy licence (HMO). 

This is required if it is your intention to let a property to three or more unrelated persons, which most commonly are student lets.

The HMO licence is obtained from the local authority within whose area the let property is - and they will have certain requirements that landlords will have to comply with. 

Although each local authority will have their own nuances, they generally follow a similar pattern.

What's involved?

Firstly all landlords will require to complete an HMO licence application form and submit this, along with a fee, to the local authority.

Their application will usually be handled by an HMO officer, who will make arrangements to inspect the property. 

The officer will refer to the ‘Statutory HMO Guidance for Scottish Local Authorities’ (introduced in August 2011) to establish the standards required prior to an licence being granted.

These generally include:

  • Copy of the tenancy agreement, including provisions for anti-social behaviour
  • Copy of an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) provided by an approved contractor
  • If there is gas in the property, a copy of the current ‘Gas Safe’ certificate
  • Copy of the portable appliances test (PAT) certificate
  • Notice of HMO Application to be publicly displayed outside the property for 21 days
  • Completed ‘Certificate of Compliance’ confirming that notice displayed as required
  • Review of application by Police Scotland and Scottish Fire & Rescue Service
  • Sufficient provisions for assessing, preventing, detecting and protecting from fire
  • Emergency lighting and sufficient power sources
  • Records of testing (smoke alarms, emergency lighting etc)

Furthermore if the proposed HMO occupancy is for six or more tenants, then a ‘planning permission change of use’ may also be required. 

Further requirements

Some local authorities may have additional requirements however landlords would be made aware of these by the HMO officer during the inspections.  The period the licence will be effective for may also vary by region. 

It can be quite daunting for landlords who are seeking to enter the HMO market for the first time, however, Aberdein Considine’s letting and property management experts can guide you through the process, or indeed do the work for you. 

Also following successful events at our Aberdeen property shop and local university, Aberdein Considine now have over 100 registered students who are looking for accommodation.

Therefore if you have an HMO property, or are thinking about letting to students, please speak to us to find out more.

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