After a consultation and a green light from the Secretary of State, the city’s new property licensing net is set to get much tighter on June 6th.
Brighton and Hove Council is set to hit landlords with some of the toughest licensing rules in the country.
The new regulations will prevent family homes from being sandwiched between two HMOs and prevent three properties in a row from being turned into shared houses.
The council already rejects HMO applications near its universities when there are more than 10% of HMOs within a 50-metre radius, but it now aims to limit the number to 20% across more of the city.
Brighton and Hove contains some 5,000 licenced HMOs, serving the city’s large student population and young professionals, and has seen increasing numbers of family dwellings converted to HMOs.
As a result, many residents are concerned about the numbers and concentration in some areas.
Current licensing rules limit the number of family homes being converted into shared houses in areas closest to the two universities, but now new HMO developments will require planning permission anywhere in the city.
The tougher rules are among a package of measures in a ten-year city plan that aims to tackle some of the indirect effects of HMOs, such as reduced demand for school places.
Councillor Tracey Hill, chair of the city’s planning committee, says: “The new policies will be some of the toughest approaches to HMO development in the country.
“We know HMOs provide essential low-cost accommodation for people living and working in a city where rents are high. Our policies are not designed to stop all HMO conversions, but to limit over-concentration in a particular area.”
The new rules take effect on 3rd June.