Public health advice
Poor housing can affect people's health, it may be a danger to the public, and it may also have a negative effect on the local environment.
All housing must meet the tolerable standards for housing. Housing standards cover:
- Private Owners - Tolerable standards
- HMO - Housing of multiple occupation (where three or more people who are not related share a flat)
The law sets out the Tolerable Standard which a home must meet to be fit for people to live in. A house meets the tolerable standard if it:
- is structurally stable
- is substantially free from rising or penetrating damp
- has satisfactory access to all external doors and outbuildings
It also meets the tolerable standard if it has satisfactory:
- safe electrical wiring and components (not appliances)
- satisfactory thermal insulation eg loft insulation
- means of heating eg a socket where a heater can be plugged in
- ventilation ie natural or mechanical
- wholesome drinking water supply ie public or private
- cooking facilities ie somewhere to put a cooker
- drainage for rainwater and from kitchen and bathroom fittings (surface and foul drainage)
- standard amenities (a toilet or waterless closet)
- standard amenities (a fixed bath or shower)
- standard amenities (a wash-hand basin)
- standard amenities (a sink)
- all with a piped supply of hot and cold water
Legislation requires houses in multiple occupation (HMO) to be licensed by us. A house is defined as an HMO if it's the only or principal residence of three or more persons from three or more families.
If you are an owner or a property, or if the property is leased to or managed by another party or organisation, you should apply for a licence if you give permission for your property to be occupied as an HMO i.e. if you allow people to live in it. The need for a licence does not depend on rent being paid, or on any formal tenancy arrangements being in place.
Guidance on Fire Safety is published on www.infoscotland.com/firelaw (external website).
Advice is also available on the Fife Fire & Rescue Service website www.fifefire.gov.uk (external site) – from the home page click on the link to ‘Services’ followed by ‘Fire Safety Legislation’.
Other useful sites are:
If you are not sure whether you need an HMO licence for your property, you should contact us on the details provided.