Brighton & Hove Council is squeezing its HMO sector even harder by introducing a tough new set of policies designed to reduce their impact on local communities.
Its City Plan Part 2 includes new guidance for those applying for planning permission as well as rules covering buying and selling HMOs.
An Article 4 direction already means that landlords need planning permission to change a house to an HMO everywhere within the city, where there are about 5,000 licensed HMOs.
The new guidance relates to both new-build HMO planning applications and changes of use to or from a single-family home to an HMO.
Applications will now only be considered where all the following criteria are met:
In future, landlords will be able to buy an existing small HMO and use it as a single-family dwelling without planning permission for a change of use, however if they buy a larger HMO that has housed six or more people to use as a single-family dwelling, they or the vendor will need to apply to the council for change of use.
Councillor David Gibson (pictured), co-chair of the housing committee, says: 'City Plan Part 2 sets out better management of the supply of Houses in Multiple Occupation. I am pleased to say that City Plan Part 1 and its restrictions on HMOs have had a very noticeable impact, and this will be strengthened by the newly introduced policies in City Plan Part 2.'�