New scheme to improve rental property conditions

A new scheme to help deal with poor property conditions and management standards for smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) is being introduced across Brighton and Hove.

The city-wide additional licensing scheme, which comes into force on Monday, is for HMOs of two or more storeys with three or four occupiers.

Licence applications for property owners and managing agents for those HMOs will open on the same day.

A Brighton & Hove City Council spokesperson said the proposals aim to "drive improvement in conditions and management standards in the city’s expanding private rented housing sector".

A selective licensing scheme for certain private rented homes in the Kemptown, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, Queens Park and Whitehawk and Marina wards is also being introduced in September.

Consultations ran between October and January and received broad agreement from residents to both schemes, while landlords and agents generally disagreed.

The council spokesperson said: "While many landlords run their properties responsibly, issues reported through the council show that management, standards and quality of private rented homes are not consistent."

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), private rents in Brighton and Hove are the 20th highest of all English local authorities and the third highest outside London after Elmbridge and Bristol.

The ONS figures show average private rents in the city went up 21.4% between December 2019 and May 2024, compared with an England average of 22.3%.

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