The Argus1,500 more family homes licensed for student rentals (From The Argus)

Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.

Brighton and Hove licences 1,500 more homes as houses of multiple occupation

More than 1,500 licences to convert small family homes into “houses in multiple occupation” have been issued by Brighton and Hove City Council in the last two years, it has been revealed.

New figures have also shown the number of houses now in the city’s private rented sector has increased by 10,691 - 45% - in the last few years to 34,081 across the city.

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) have becoming increasingly popular in Brighton and Hove where there is a shortage of affordable housing and large student population.

But they have not always been popular with families who have seen their neighbourhoods taken over by with landlords buying up family homes before renting out the individual bedrooms.

National laws require that all houses that are used in this way with three or more storeys with five or more occupiers must be licensed and meet specific safety requirements.

Moulsecoomb and Bevendean have seen the biggest number of licences granted with 608 handed out as of April 9 this year.

Hanover and Elm Grove came second in the latest list with 430 new licences ahead of St. Peter’s and North Laine (304), Hollingdean and Stanmer (169) and Queen’s Park (72).

To date 1,800 applications have been received from landlords under the new additional licensing scheme with more than 1,000 under the national scheme.

The new scheme to licence smaller homes was introduced in 2012 amid concerns that a significant number of smaller HMOs in the five wards around Lewes Road were not being properly managed and not meeting required safety standards for tenants.

As part of the new scheme, landlords wanting to convert smaller homes are required to meet specific conditions with particular emphasis placed on fire safety.

Councillor Bill Randall, chairman of the housing committee at Brighton and Hove, said: “We’ve had a terrific response to this scheme, which is producing safer and better homes for residents in shared housing as well as peace of mind for landlords.

“Research has shown a concentration of smaller houses converting from family homes to HMOs in these five wards. Our licensing regulations have provided protection for tenants in the traditionally larger HMOs for many years and we have built up a good working relationship with landlords. It was only right that we should extend these benefits more widely to others renting privately in smaller HMOs.”

Comments (16)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:33am Mon 12 May 14

HJarrs says...

It isn't just students that are driving demand. A lack of house building and selling off council housing over 30 years has lead us to this position coupled with low returns from investments and cheap finance that make becoming a landlord attractive.
It isn't just students that are driving demand. A lack of house building and selling off council housing over 30 years has lead us to this position coupled with low returns from investments and cheap finance that make becoming a landlord attractive. HJarrs
  • Score: 16

7:53am Mon 12 May 14

Max Ripple says...

Both Sussex Uni and Brighton Uni are expanding and increasing numbers by a total of around 9,000 students between them in the next five years - possibly more. Sussex are building more accommodation but they won't take in any more students that are already here. Hanover is a nightmare. Hanover has become a campus. You can't knock working people living in HMOs as they pay council tax but students don't. The council loses out on approx £5.4 million per year through lost council tax from students. Maybe landlords who are raking it in should pay the council tax on those properties?
Both Sussex Uni and Brighton Uni are expanding and increasing numbers by a total of around 9,000 students between them in the next five years - possibly more. Sussex are building more accommodation but they won't take in any more students that are already here. Hanover is a nightmare. Hanover has become a campus. You can't knock working people living in HMOs as they pay council tax but students don't. The council loses out on approx £5.4 million per year through lost council tax from students. Maybe landlords who are raking it in should pay the council tax on those properties? Max Ripple
  • Score: 19

8:14am Mon 12 May 14

RottingdeanRant says...

Max Ripple wrote:
Both Sussex Uni and Brighton Uni are expanding and increasing numbers by a total of around 9,000 students between them in the next five years - possibly more. Sussex are building more accommodation but they won't take in any more students that are already here. Hanover is a nightmare. Hanover has become a campus. You can't knock working people living in HMOs as they pay council tax but students don't. The council loses out on approx £5.4 million per year through lost council tax from students. Maybe landlords who are raking it in should pay the council tax on those properties?
Why should the LLs pay the council tax? Its the students that use the services and its the government that mandates that students don’t pay council tax.
[quote][p][bold]Max Ripple[/bold] wrote: Both Sussex Uni and Brighton Uni are expanding and increasing numbers by a total of around 9,000 students between them in the next five years - possibly more. Sussex are building more accommodation but they won't take in any more students that are already here. Hanover is a nightmare. Hanover has become a campus. You can't knock working people living in HMOs as they pay council tax but students don't. The council loses out on approx £5.4 million per year through lost council tax from students. Maybe landlords who are raking it in should pay the council tax on those properties?[/p][/quote]Why should the LLs pay the council tax? Its the students that use the services and its the government that mandates that students don’t pay council tax. RottingdeanRant
  • Score: 8

8:24am Mon 12 May 14

Sussex jim says...

RottingdeanRant wrote:
Max Ripple wrote:
Both Sussex Uni and Brighton Uni are expanding and increasing numbers by a total of around 9,000 students between them in the next five years - possibly more. Sussex are building more accommodation but they won't take in any more students that are already here. Hanover is a nightmare. Hanover has become a campus. You can't knock working people living in HMOs as they pay council tax but students don't. The council loses out on approx £5.4 million per year through lost council tax from students. Maybe landlords who are raking it in should pay the council tax on those properties?
Why should the LLs pay the council tax? Its the students that use the services and its the government that mandates that students don’t pay council tax.
What about the pensioners; who have worked all their lives to build the town and its infrastructure that students and other migrants are enjoying today?
If someone has WORKED all their life and is eligible for the state pension, they too should be exempt from council tax.
[quote][p][bold]RottingdeanRant[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Max Ripple[/bold] wrote: Both Sussex Uni and Brighton Uni are expanding and increasing numbers by a total of around 9,000 students between them in the next five years - possibly more. Sussex are building more accommodation but they won't take in any more students that are already here. Hanover is a nightmare. Hanover has become a campus. You can't knock working people living in HMOs as they pay council tax but students don't. The council loses out on approx £5.4 million per year through lost council tax from students. Maybe landlords who are raking it in should pay the council tax on those properties?[/p][/quote]Why should the LLs pay the council tax? Its the students that use the services and its the government that mandates that students don’t pay council tax.[/p][/quote]What about the pensioners; who have worked all their lives to build the town and its infrastructure that students and other migrants are enjoying today? If someone has WORKED all their life and is eligible for the state pension, they too should be exempt from council tax. Sussex jim
  • Score: 17

8:45am Mon 12 May 14

Skidrow says...

Have a word with your MP about that then - Oh no, its Caroline Lucas, voted in by.... Students.
Have a word with your MP about that then - Oh no, its Caroline Lucas, voted in by.... Students. Skidrow
  • Score: 20

8:46am Mon 12 May 14

NickBtn says...

At around £600 per licence this has raised the council over £1m. How is this money being spent? Perhaps on some services to help neighbourhoods with lots of shared housing like more rubbish clearance, longer hours/more resources for the noise team (who frustratingly only work Fri and Sat evenings)? No, the money is being spent on more council inspectors to look at the houses. Is this being well spent? Well a London council can do it for a quarter of the price so probably not...

Will this stop more student house conversions? No, it is all about room sizes, bathrooms, Fire safety (although the council should do this free as that's it's legal responsibility with or without these local extra rules), kitchen cupboards. The decision on more housing is part of planning (Article 4) and looks at whether more than 10% of houses in a small area are already shared.

Will this licensing make shared houses safer from fire? Yes - some definitely weren't up to standard for fire detectors, doors etc. The key question is why this doesn't also apply to families renting - why students get special protection but not others... Perhaps that's because many of the council's own properties and those that it pays to rent wouldn't be suitable under these rules - OK for a family of 4 to rent but not OK for 4 students (and yes, landlords have stopped renting to students as not safe for them but council says that it's OK to rent to families with young children).....
At around £600 per licence this has raised the council over £1m. How is this money being spent? Perhaps on some services to help neighbourhoods with lots of shared housing like more rubbish clearance, longer hours/more resources for the noise team (who frustratingly only work Fri and Sat evenings)? No, the money is being spent on more council inspectors to look at the houses. Is this being well spent? Well a London council can do it for a quarter of the price so probably not... Will this stop more student house conversions? No, it is all about room sizes, bathrooms, Fire safety (although the council should do this free as that's it's legal responsibility with or without these local extra rules), kitchen cupboards. The decision on more housing is part of planning (Article 4) and looks at whether more than 10% of houses in a small area are already shared. Will this licensing make shared houses safer from fire? Yes - some definitely weren't up to standard for fire detectors, doors etc. The key question is why this doesn't also apply to families renting - why students get special protection but not others... Perhaps that's because many of the council's own properties and those that it pays to rent wouldn't be suitable under these rules - OK for a family of 4 to rent but not OK for 4 students (and yes, landlords have stopped renting to students as not safe for them but council says that it's OK to rent to families with young children)..... NickBtn
  • Score: 6

9:28am Mon 12 May 14

s&k says...

Pity the neighbours. In all seriousness, though, it's local families who are losing out. Where do they go?
Pity the neighbours. In all seriousness, though, it's local families who are losing out. Where do they go? s&k
  • Score: 11

9:44am Mon 12 May 14

Sheeples says...

Once interest rates start rising (which will be sooner than the BoE predictions) Things will change dramatically, then all this talk of shortage of housing will diminish.
Once interest rates start rising (which will be sooner than the BoE predictions) Things will change dramatically, then all this talk of shortage of housing will diminish. Sheeples
  • Score: 1

10:50am Mon 12 May 14

clubrob6 says...

This is having a knock on effect to the council housing waiting list which is upto 16000,basically people born and bred in B&H cant get accommodation.Plus to qualify for a local connection you only need to be here two years and that's only recent.To be put on the housing waiting list you should have a local connection of at least ten years to give locals a chance to actually live where they were born.Brighton and hove has changed so much its getting like London where most people are not actually locals.
This is having a knock on effect to the council housing waiting list which is upto 16000,basically people born and bred in B&H cant get accommodation.Plus to qualify for a local connection you only need to be here two years and that's only recent.To be put on the housing waiting list you should have a local connection of at least ten years to give locals a chance to actually live where they were born.Brighton and hove has changed so much its getting like London where most people are not actually locals. clubrob6
  • Score: 5

11:43am Mon 12 May 14

wippasnapper says...

Why is Sussex uni building more and more Student accommodation if more privet probity’s are being licensed by nun other than the B&HCC to be leased out to Students?

Makes the mind boggle why B&HCC are granting ever more Student accommodation licenses to the privet sector when there is a huge shortage of probity’s to home those that need them or dose this B&HCC truthfully want less retable accommodation for those people who are not students.

If this green administration is given another turn in office B&H will become a student City and it will be use Council tenants left to pick up the bill.
Why is Sussex uni building more and more Student accommodation if more privet probity’s are being licensed by nun other than the B&HCC to be leased out to Students? Makes the mind boggle why B&HCC are granting ever more Student accommodation licenses to the privet sector when there is a huge shortage of probity’s to home those that need them or dose this B&HCC truthfully want less retable accommodation for those people who are not students. If this green administration is given another turn in office B&H will become a student City and it will be use Council tenants left to pick up the bill. wippasnapper
  • Score: 2

12:12pm Mon 12 May 14

rogerthefish says...

s&k wrote:
Pity the neighbours. In all seriousness, though, it's local families who are losing out. Where do they go?
Newhaven, Peacehaven-Shoreham and Lancing Patcham-anywhere which is dull
[quote][p][bold]s&k[/bold] wrote: Pity the neighbours. In all seriousness, though, it's local families who are losing out. Where do they go?[/p][/quote]Newhaven, Peacehaven-Shoreham and Lancing Patcham-anywhere which is dull rogerthefish
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Mon 12 May 14

DisillusionedBtowner says...

It's not just students who live in shared houses, I'm a working professional who lives in a shared house with other working professionals.

I don't understand why single adults on the dole get to have their own flats, why can't they all live in shared houses and leave the flats to the families?
It's not just students who live in shared houses, I'm a working professional who lives in a shared house with other working professionals. I don't understand why single adults on the dole get to have their own flats, why can't they all live in shared houses and leave the flats to the families? DisillusionedBtowner
  • Score: 4

3:50pm Mon 12 May 14

Martin999 says...

wippasnapper wrote:
Why is Sussex uni building more and more Student accommodation if more privet probity’s are being licensed by nun other than the B&HCC to be leased out to Students?

Makes the mind boggle why B&HCC are granting ever more Student accommodation licenses to the privet sector when there is a huge shortage of probity’s to home those that need them or dose this B&HCC truthfully want less retable accommodation for those people who are not students.

If this green administration is given another turn in office B&H will become a student City and it will be use Council tenants left to pick up the bill.
What's a privet probity? I have a privet hedge, but I'm sure there are no students living in that.
[quote][p][bold]wippasnapper[/bold] wrote: Why is Sussex uni building more and more Student accommodation if more privet probity’s are being licensed by nun other than the B&HCC to be leased out to Students? Makes the mind boggle why B&HCC are granting ever more Student accommodation licenses to the privet sector when there is a huge shortage of probity’s to home those that need them or dose this B&HCC truthfully want less retable accommodation for those people who are not students. If this green administration is given another turn in office B&H will become a student City and it will be use Council tenants left to pick up the bill.[/p][/quote]What's a privet probity? I have a privet hedge, but I'm sure there are no students living in that. Martin999
  • Score: 0

6:28pm Mon 12 May 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Another 1500 student homes not paying council tax yet receiving services and another few thousand people needing health services etc in a city already groaning under the strain.
I am not sure why Mr Randall seems so pleased with himself. If you see the HMOs coming up for sale in latest homes, many of them are diabolical and are nothing short of slums.
Another 1500 student homes not paying council tax yet receiving services and another few thousand people needing health services etc in a city already groaning under the strain. I am not sure why Mr Randall seems so pleased with himself. If you see the HMOs coming up for sale in latest homes, many of them are diabolical and are nothing short of slums. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 3

10:08am Tue 13 May 14

redwing says...

RottingdeanRant wrote:
Max Ripple wrote:
Both Sussex Uni and Brighton Uni are expanding and increasing numbers by a total of around 9,000 students between them in the next five years - possibly more. Sussex are building more accommodation but they won't take in any more students that are already here. Hanover is a nightmare. Hanover has become a campus. You can't knock working people living in HMOs as they pay council tax but students don't. The council loses out on approx £5.4 million per year through lost council tax from students. Maybe landlords who are raking it in should pay the council tax on those properties?
Why should the LLs pay the council tax? Its the students that use the services and its the government that mandates that students don’t pay council tax.
Because you are raking it in at the wider community's expense.
[quote][p][bold]RottingdeanRant[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Max Ripple[/bold] wrote: Both Sussex Uni and Brighton Uni are expanding and increasing numbers by a total of around 9,000 students between them in the next five years - possibly more. Sussex are building more accommodation but they won't take in any more students that are already here. Hanover is a nightmare. Hanover has become a campus. You can't knock working people living in HMOs as they pay council tax but students don't. The council loses out on approx £5.4 million per year through lost council tax from students. Maybe landlords who are raking it in should pay the council tax on those properties?[/p][/quote]Why should the LLs pay the council tax? Its the students that use the services and its the government that mandates that students don’t pay council tax.[/p][/quote]Because you are raking it in at the wider community's expense. redwing
  • Score: 0

1:01pm Tue 13 May 14

Goldenwight says...

In order to require a HMO licence, a property must be on at least 3 floors and have at least 5 occupants. How many "small family homes" does this encompass, then?
In order to require a HMO licence, a property must be on at least 3 floors and have at least 5 occupants. How many "small family homes" does this encompass, then? Goldenwight
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree