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Brighton and Hove party house landlords form self-regulatory body
Horror stories of neighbours being kept awake by hen and stag parties could be a thing of the past as operators of so-called party houses form an association to self-regulate the industry.
The newly-formed Brighton and Hove Holiday Rental Association (BHRA) was unveiled at a scrutiny panel meeting in Hove Town Hall on Tuesday.
It has been set up by letting agents determined to shake off the stigma associated with party houses and to root out misbehaving landlords.
Stephen Stone, from letting agents City Pad, said: “In the small pool of large holiday rentals there is an even smaller minority of problem properties that do cause problems to neighbours.
“This reflects badly on our industry and I truly feel for those neighbours.”
Operators said stories of noisy party houses are now historical.
Mr Stone said there have been 1,800 noise complaints in total in Brighton and Hove over the past year, yet the number of those complaints linked to short-term rentals in the past three years is just 30.
He said: “In place of the lack of official complaints and figures, there have been repeated attempts to explain why the numbers are so low, and why police and environmental health are not called in.
“In the lack of statistics we cannot fill in the gaps with suppositions.”
The BHRA said there are 106 short-term lets sleeping more than ten people in Brighton and Hove.
They promise to put a set of best practice regulations in place to ensure that all short-term lets operate responsibly and safely.
James Watts, from Beatnik Breaks, said: “If you choose to change the nature of the industry you will not change the demand. What you will do is cause the responsible operators to contract and force all of that custom into exactly the properties you are trying to avoid.”
They said problems lie with rogue landlords who post properties online using sites such as Trip Advisor, Gumtree and AirBnB.
Green councillor Geoffrey Bowden, scrutiny panel chairman, said: “We are not trying to put the good operators out of business, we are trying to catch those who are never going to comply.”
The fire authority is currently engaging in an auditing process, working with the BHRA, to ensure that all short-term lets satisfy all the correct safety standards.