Brighton and Hove City Council have ordered two student houses in the Lewes Road area to close, bringing the total number of such cases to four in the past two months.
The council's decision was challenged but was backed by government planning inspectors. As such Brighton and Hove City Council has ordered that terraced family homes at 45 Newmarket Road and 69 Ewhurst Road should no longer be used to house six students each.
Due to local powers, planning permission is required across five council wards if owners wish to change family homes into houses of multiple occupation.
Local rules state that if more than 10% of properties within 50m of the application site are already HMOs, then permission will not be granted. At Newmarket Road the council indicated that over 28% of properties within 50m were in fact HMOs, whilst at Ewhurst Road the figure was put at 26%.
The current council policies were introduced to preserve the character of residential areas. It's been argued that areas with a high proportion of HMOs have witnessed changes to the surrounding area and in some cases have harmed their appearance.
The rise of HMOs reflects the fact that purpose built student accommodation has failed to match growth in student demand.