HMO licences guidance plea

COUNCILLORS have asked for guidance on how to deal with controversial Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) licences ahead of an expected increase in demand for them due to welfare reforms.

HMO applications are made to the council for properties with three or more residents. And councillors are mindful that the number of people applying for an HMO licence will increase in the coming months in the wake of welfare reforms which could see tenants forced to share their premises or even move into an HMO.

Recent HMO applications have caused controversy, with angry residents in Gorebridge setting up a neighbourhood watch group in response to anti-social behaviour from HMO tenants there.

Officers were asked to come back with a drawn-up policy on HMOs. The chamber was told that they will try and get it for the next cycle, although consultation is needed so this could take a while.

For more on this story pick up a copy of the January 17 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.