Council bosses have launched an investigation into houses rented out for rowdy stag and hen parties.

At a meeting on Monday, councillors agreed to establish a cross-party scrutiny panel to examine the issue of “party houses” in the city.

There are now more than 300 short term rental properties across Brighton and Hove and residents fear they could spread even further without proper regulation.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, who proposed the panel, said: “It is evident the number of party houses is growing quickly, significantly increasing the impact of these 'businesses' on local communities.

“While I acknowledge properly managed party houses can bring financial benefit to the city contributing to the visitor economy, I and many other councillors across the city are concerned that such premises can cause considerable local disruption, cost and nuisance to local communities.

“The issue is clearly of considerable concern across a number of city wards.”

The Argus:

A hen party in Pavilion Gardens

The Queens Park area has been hardest hit by the party house boom, and residents have met regularly to voice their opposition.

One Queen's Park Road resident, who did not wish to be named, told The Argus in November she had been struggling to deal with “nightmare parties” while nursing a baby and with a husband recovering from major surgery.

She said: “Initially there were only a few parties each weekend, now we have disturbances every week.

“I can understand it's not the hen and stag's fault, obviously these people have paid a lot of money to stay in the houses, it's the lack of planning by the council that is the problem.”

Brighton Holiday Homes manages the largest number of self-catering homes in Brighton and Hove and accommodated more than 15,000 people last year.

Only two people have ever been prosecuted in relation to party houses.

Helen Sywak and Pasqua Biscardi let their adjoining properties in Cliff Road, Brighton, to groups of revellers, who caused a repeated nuisance to neighbours with partying and karaoke.

The couple were fined £12,000 in February 2012 after admitting six counts each of breaching noise abatement notices issued by Brighton and Hove City Council.

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