Brighton and Hove party house landlords form self-regulatory body

Brighton and Hove party houses are often rented out by stag and hen parties

Brighton and Hove party houses are often rented out by stag and hen parties

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter

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.

Comments (11)

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8:49am Thu 20 Feb 14

downbythesea says...

This did make me laugh, I lived next to one of these houses where it was routine for them to have short term tenants, people shouting, laughing, playing musical instruments until the early hours MANY nights every month, throwing up in the street, putting old "bongs" in the recycling outside.. the list goes on.

And did it make flap all difference complaining to the Noise patrol, NO, because they only work a few hours a week (Friday & Saturday night) until about 3am, when the problem usually doesn't start until after 3am when people get in from clubbing, a totally USELESS SERVICE from the council.

Did complaining to Environmental health make any difference? NOT really, just sent a letter and went round once, asked us to keep a noise diary, and when they keep quiet after a few weeks they CLOSE THE CASE!!!!!
Then the tenants start being noisy again, and you have to keep another noise diary!

Environmental health & the Noise Patrol, about as much use as a chocolate teapot!

The only thing that made a difference was when the partying sc*m didn't pay their rent and got evicted! hahaha!

But that was only after US, suffering noise for FIVE f'ng years in total!

Oh and they weren't students, the students on our road (4 houses) are generally very good)!
This did make me laugh, I lived next to one of these houses where it was routine for them to have short term tenants, people shouting, laughing, playing musical instruments until the early hours MANY nights every month, throwing up in the street, putting old "bongs" in the recycling outside.. the list goes on. And did it make flap all difference complaining to the Noise patrol, NO, because they only work a few hours a week (Friday & Saturday night) until about 3am, when the problem usually doesn't start until after 3am when people get in from clubbing, a totally USELESS SERVICE from the council. Did complaining to Environmental health make any difference? NOT really, just sent a letter and went round once, asked us to keep a noise diary, and when they keep quiet after a few weeks they CLOSE THE CASE!!!!! Then the tenants start being noisy again, and you have to keep another noise diary! Environmental health & the Noise Patrol, about as much use as a chocolate teapot! The only thing that made a difference was when the partying sc*m didn't pay their rent and got evicted! hahaha! But that was only after US, suffering noise for FIVE f'ng years in total! Oh and they weren't students, the students on our road (4 houses) are generally very good)! downbythesea
  • Score: 19

10:13am Thu 20 Feb 14

jamus77 says...

Noise pollution is the curse of modern life, but there is no effective deterrent. The police have handed responsibility to local authorities, who don't have the resources to deal with it. They usually have someone 'on call' who sounds disgruntled when you contact them at 3am. And that's it. And they make it all your responsibility by telling you to keep a noise 'diary'! Absolutely hopeless. When will this problem be taken seriously?
Noise pollution is the curse of modern life, but there is no effective deterrent. The police have handed responsibility to local authorities, who don't have the resources to deal with it. They usually have someone 'on call' who sounds disgruntled when you contact them at 3am. And that's it. And they make it all your responsibility by telling you to keep a noise 'diary'! Absolutely hopeless. When will this problem be taken seriously? jamus77
  • Score: 15

10:36am Thu 20 Feb 14

Martha Gunn says...

Not good enough - the lives of some people are being made a misery by these places.

Ps. The BHCC noise patrol was 'not available' last Saturday night.
So add it to the ever growing list of services the Green Party do not deliver.
Not good enough - the lives of some people are being made a misery by these places. Ps. The BHCC noise patrol was 'not available' last Saturday night. So add it to the ever growing list of services the Green Party do not deliver. Martha Gunn
  • Score: 13

10:51am Thu 20 Feb 14

clubrob6 says...

Party houses don't belong in a residential area,the only reason landlords let there properties out in this way is to make cash.Landlords also know the council does not take noise very seriously,basically a party house should have a in house manager.Self regulation wont work,you cant blame the party goers they have paid good money for accommodation to celebrate with that you will get noise.I suggest setting up party houses next to where the landlords of these houses live to see if they like being kept awake all night especially when you are at work the next day or your children kept awake all night.
Party houses don't belong in a residential area,the only reason landlords let there properties out in this way is to make cash.Landlords also know the council does not take noise very seriously,basically a party house should have a in house manager.Self regulation wont work,you cant blame the party goers they have paid good money for accommodation to celebrate with that you will get noise.I suggest setting up party houses next to where the landlords of these houses live to see if they like being kept awake all night especially when you are at work the next day or your children kept awake all night. clubrob6
  • Score: 7

11:02am Thu 20 Feb 14

Brilliantbrighton says...

Thank you Henry for writing a balanced piece on the day. We can all point to problem neighbours of many kinds, although the clear take away from the meeting came from the Council's own figures that of 3,000 annual noise complaints 1,800 were from private homes. Only 8 of these were from holiday lets. No doubt many will try and attack the letting industry. Though these are the council's own figures. Also interesting that they averaged just 30 over 3 years i.e. 0.3% of the total amount i.e. the party house properties were overwhelmingly/99.7% standard tenants or owner occupiers.
There are clearly problem properties, though the figures and the debate on the day confirmed v clearly that the problem properties were those operating outside the of the agencies and their terms & conditions, filtering of potential problem guests and their use of noise patrols.
This being said, I feel for the person above and I don't think I could have put up with 5 years of hell. My suggestion would be, and a take away from the panel, find out if they are agency run and contact the agency. You may feel you have and that it was a waste of time, though if the noise is that severe the council can also readily monitor, record and report on it. If there's a problem they can be shut down (as had been the case in the city to date).
Thank you Henry for writing a balanced piece on the day. We can all point to problem neighbours of many kinds, although the clear take away from the meeting came from the Council's own figures that of 3,000 annual noise complaints 1,800 were from private homes. Only 8 of these were from holiday lets. No doubt many will try and attack the letting industry. Though these are the council's own figures. Also interesting that they averaged just 30 over 3 years i.e. 0.3% of the total amount i.e. the party house properties were overwhelmingly/99.7% standard tenants or owner occupiers. There are clearly problem properties, though the figures and the debate on the day confirmed v clearly that the problem properties were those operating outside the of the agencies and their terms & conditions, filtering of potential problem guests and their use of noise patrols. This being said, I feel for the person above and I don't think I could have put up with 5 years of hell. My suggestion would be, and a take away from the panel, find out if they are agency run and contact the agency. You may feel you have and that it was a waste of time, though if the noise is that severe the council can also readily monitor, record and report on it. If there's a problem they can be shut down (as had been the case in the city to date). Brilliantbrighton
  • Score: 2

11:18am Thu 20 Feb 14

Richada says...

Martha Gunn wrote:
Not good enough - the lives of some people are being made a misery by these places.

Ps. The BHCC noise patrol was 'not available' last Saturday night.
So add it to the ever growing list of services the Green Party do not deliver.
Noise pollution in all forms is a blight on peoples lives where it occurs and, in my opinion, should be taken far more seriously by councils across the land.

These party houses make life hell for local residents, who in all probability feel powerless to act, as, when they have in the past, nothing has been done anyway.

It doesn't surprise me in the least that this service was "not available", but in all honesty, I don't think previous administrations here took this subject any more seriously than the current one does.
[quote][p][bold]Martha Gunn[/bold] wrote: Not good enough - the lives of some people are being made a misery by these places. Ps. The BHCC noise patrol was 'not available' last Saturday night. So add it to the ever growing list of services the Green Party do not deliver.[/p][/quote]Noise pollution in all forms is a blight on peoples lives where it occurs and, in my opinion, should be taken far more seriously by councils across the land. These party houses make life hell for local residents, who in all probability feel powerless to act, as, when they have in the past, nothing has been done anyway. It doesn't surprise me in the least that this service was "not available", but in all honesty, I don't think previous administrations here took this subject any more seriously than the current one does. Richada
  • Score: 2

12:48pm Thu 20 Feb 14

redwing says...

It's sick that landlords are allowed to do this, raking in the money and depriving people of desperately needed homes. Letting out houses for this purpose should simply be banned.
It's sick that landlords are allowed to do this, raking in the money and depriving people of desperately needed homes. Letting out houses for this purpose should simply be banned. redwing
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Richada says...

redwing wrote:
It's sick that landlords are allowed to do this, raking in the money and depriving people of desperately needed homes. Letting out houses for this purpose should simply be banned.
They should insist that the landlord lives IN the party house - then maybe some "self-regulation" would take place.
[quote][p][bold]redwing[/bold] wrote: It's sick that landlords are allowed to do this, raking in the money and depriving people of desperately needed homes. Letting out houses for this purpose should simply be banned.[/p][/quote]They should insist that the landlord lives IN the party house - then maybe some "self-regulation" would take place. Richada
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

This is pure PR spin by the letting agents.
Will the letting agent have a 24-hour contact number in place and a set of service level agreements for lets around noise?
I have contacted many letting agents over the years about noisy tenants and the answer from the young kids who work in them is always: "We only let the property we are not paid to manage it."
Also B&HCC advised the reisdnets in my street to contact the police and theenvironmental team every single time there is noise and problems. Services respond to data and statistics so if you sit and think nothing will happen and its not worth reporting an incident, the issue continues as the agencies such as the police and council have no pattern of problems.
Just keep on calling every single day and night when there is a problem and record every conversation with every individual at the police, council and letting agency.
You can also then consider a civil suit for loss of amenity and the evidence in a civil case is lower than required by the criminal court.
It soon gets things moving.
This is pure PR spin by the letting agents. Will the letting agent have a 24-hour contact number in place and a set of service level agreements for lets around noise? I have contacted many letting agents over the years about noisy tenants and the answer from the young kids who work in them is always: "We only let the property we are not paid to manage it." Also B&HCC advised the reisdnets in my street to contact the police and theenvironmental team every single time there is noise and problems. Services respond to data and statistics so if you sit and think nothing will happen and its not worth reporting an incident, the issue continues as the agencies such as the police and council have no pattern of problems. Just keep on calling every single day and night when there is a problem and record every conversation with every individual at the police, council and letting agency. You can also then consider a civil suit for loss of amenity and the evidence in a civil case is lower than required by the criminal court. It soon gets things moving. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 1

4:22pm Thu 20 Feb 14

Zeta Function says...

Proper regulation of the private letting industry and so called holiday lets by statutory agencies is required. Why is the council wasting resources on recognising this outfit?

Keeping a noise diary before contacting the authorities and recording the noise if possible would help to get noise complaints dealt with more quickly.

Don't waste the council's time by complaining without some backup evidence like recordings, and diary details providing a clearer picture of the problem.

It also helps if you can say you've tried to speak with the noise crowd or individual.

The council should always check the complaints, before sending out notices.

Lack of sleep through noise is a health hazard. It pushes up cortisol, the stress hormone, which contributes to heart and mental health problems with victims ending up in A & E, costing the tax payer and diverting resources again.
Proper regulation of the private letting industry and so called holiday lets by statutory agencies is required. Why is the council wasting resources on recognising this outfit? Keeping a noise diary before contacting the authorities and recording the noise if possible would help to get noise complaints dealt with more quickly. Don't waste the council's time by complaining without some backup evidence like recordings, and diary details providing a clearer picture of the problem. It also helps if you can say you've tried to speak with the noise crowd or individual. The council should always check the complaints, before sending out notices. Lack of sleep through noise is a health hazard. It pushes up cortisol, the stress hormone, which contributes to heart and mental health problems with victims ending up in A & E, costing the tax payer and diverting resources again. Zeta Function
  • Score: 1

6:54pm Thu 20 Feb 14

NickBtn says...

redwing wrote:
It's sick that landlords are allowed to do this, raking in the money and depriving people of desperately needed homes. Letting out houses for this purpose should simply be banned.
I'm not sure how you could ban this. I, along with friends and family, enjoy going on holidays to cottages/houses which we rent for a week. There are thousands of them across the UK. How can you keep these while banning houses which are noisy - it isn't the property which is the problem it is the people renting them

There needs to be effective enforcement of noise problems whatever the source. Brighton Council keeps avoiding its responsibilities. The noise team should be 24/7
[quote][p][bold]redwing[/bold] wrote: It's sick that landlords are allowed to do this, raking in the money and depriving people of desperately needed homes. Letting out houses for this purpose should simply be banned.[/p][/quote]I'm not sure how you could ban this. I, along with friends and family, enjoy going on holidays to cottages/houses which we rent for a week. There are thousands of them across the UK. How can you keep these while banning houses which are noisy - it isn't the property which is the problem it is the people renting them There needs to be effective enforcement of noise problems whatever the source. Brighton Council keeps avoiding its responsibilities. The noise team should be 24/7 NickBtn
  • Score: 4

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