HMO licensing for 6 tenants

What changes when you apply for a 6 tenant HMO licence

There is a reason why the most typical HMO properties in Edinburgh are licensed for 3, 4 or 5 tenants and why there are very few properties on the market with a licence for 6 or more tenants. Owners of larger investment flats may entertain the idea of maximising their income and applying for a 6 tenant HMO licence, but the standard for larger HMO properties is set significantly higher. So, what changes when you apply for a 6-tenant licence?


Properties with 5 tenants can have a regular kitchen, but the moment you add a 6th tenant to your licence, it is a game changer – you can say goodbye to your ordinary kitchen. Whilst you do not need to use commercial grade equipment, properties with 6 tenants are required to have:
  • 2 sinks with integral drainers,
  • 2 fridges,
  • 2 hobs with 2 extractor hoods,
  • 2 ovens,
  • 2 washing machines
Other requirements include – 6 tenant license requires at least 3.8m of worktop space and 1.2 cubic meters of storage space. There must be at least 1m of activity space in front of both ovens and 30cm of worktop space on either side of the hobs. If the utility room can be accessed directly from the kitchen, it can be converted into a kitchen extension… but creating two kitchens in two separate rooms is not acceptable. For example, some traditional tenement flats have utility rooms accessible from the lounge. Adding a hob or a sink in such utility room will not count towards kitchen requirements if there is no direct access between the kitchen and the utility room. In short, you can only consider applying for a 6 tenant HMO licence if your kitchen is considerably spacious and if there is enough space to double up your appliances and white goods in one room.


While legislation permits to have just one bathroom for 5 tenants, 6 tenant licence requires two separate bathrooms.

Planning permission

Another obstacle is that planning permission for 6 occupiers will be required 6 tenant HMO licence requirements are much more demanding – most investors thinking about a licence for more than 5 tenants should consider carefully if their property can meet all the mentioned requirements. Upgrading a suitable property