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Housing (Scotland) Act 2006

Offences etc.

179.Section 154 lists the criminal offences relating to HMO licensing. An owner of a licensable HMO without a licence is committing an offence (unless the owner has a reasonable excuse). It is also an offence to claim that an HMO licence that has ceased to have effect is valid. A licence holder commits an offence by using an agent not specified on the licence, breaching a condition in a licence or allowing an HMO to be occupied in contravention of a requirement under section 145(2). An agent commits an offence if he or she acts for a licence-holder without being named on that licence, causes a condition of the licence to be breached, or does anything which permits or facilitates occupation of a licensable HMO that either does not have a licence or is occupied in contravention of a requirement under section 145(2). It is an offence to prevent or obstruct any person exercising powers of entry under section 181(1)(e). Section 155 defines circumstances in which offences are not committed, or where there is a defence of reasonable excuse. Section 156 sets penalties for these offences.

180.Section 157 gives a court powers to revoke an HMO licence and disqualify an owner from holding a licence, or an agent from being named on a licence, for a period not exceeding five years. These powers can be used on conviction of an offence under section 154. A person other than the owner of the HMO or agent, who is convicted of preventing or obstructing an officer from exercising a power of entry, cannot be disqualified (but any such conviction would be taken into account if they subsequently applied for an HMO licence).

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