Brighton Councillors Look to Tighten HMO Rules

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Campaigners opposed to additional student housing schemes have won a key victory in their bid to reduce the number of multiple-occupancy homes in their area.

A recent meeting at Brighton and Hove City council moved to amend current regulation on houses of multiple occupancy (HMO's), which are usually designed as student homes. The debate was held after a local petition successfully gathered 1,295 signatures.

Chairman of the Bevendean local Action Team, William Gandy, described to the council about having to clean up vodka bottles and takeaway packages left on the streets by students living in HMOs.

Mr Gandy said: "Our future is in your hands. Your vote will decide whether we live to rebuild our community or become displaced to make way for more HMOs."

The meeting saw unanimous cross-party support for the petition and Conservative councillors proposed a change to the rule that ten per cent of homes in a 50-metre radius can be HMOs.

In a bid to tighten the rules, new applications would be rejected if five per cent of homes in a 150-metre radius were already HMOs.

Labour councillors also suggested that HMO landlords should pay business rates. According to councillor Tracey Hill, the management of HMOs in the city is a business, and in some cases, big business, which should therefore be taxed as such.

The petition has now been referred to the economic development and culture committee meeting for consideration on November 17.