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South Coast town to tackle HMOs as problems rise

eastbourne HMO

The South Coast seaside resort of Eastbourne wants to crack down on the town’s growing number of HMOs and councillors are soon to make a decision on what to do.

This follows an internal council report which has suggested several options including new planning policy, a change in how permission is granted for HMOs or more robust licensing and enforcement,

There are 360 HMOs registered within the town, which are popular with the small army of people who work in its hospitality businesses but who work on low wages and face seasonal employment patterns. HMO numbers have been climbing – in 2011 the council recorded 305 on itsregister.

The majority of the HMOs are concentrated in and around the eastern part of the town centre on roads behind the big hotels.


But like many placles in the UK including neighbouring Brighton – which has over 3,000 HMOs – this kind of housing is now being blamed for housing, social and other problems including too little parking, overflowing bins and a lack of family homes available for local residents.

“Whatever steps we take, we will be very careful to not adversely affect the positive role that HMOs play in the mix of available accommodation,” says Councillor Peter Diplock, Cabinet Member for Housing.

“Our focus will be on raising standards inside and outside the premises, so the unwelcome issues the report highlights are tackled.”

Councillor Stephen Holt (pictured) , Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, adds:"There is no doubt that HMOs are an important housing option in the town,especially for people on lower incomes or those working on a short-term contract.

“However, there is also evidence that in some locations they attract anti-social behaviour and the condition of properties can fall below acceptable standards.”

Eastbourne operates a register for larger, mandatory licenced HMOs but does not have an additional scheme for smaller ones. It charges up to £1,300 for a ‘standard’ larger bedsit HMOs but more for hostels and less for shared houses.

Ultimate guide to running an HMO


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