Local Government South East

Two New Licensing Consultations Announced in Brighton & Hove

brighton
India Cocking
Written by India Cocking

The RLA have submitted their official consultation response to Brighton and Hove Council, read our response here.

Brighton and Hove Council have announced today that they have begun a licensing consultation on two new licensing schemes, one additional and one selective. This proposal will affect over 27,000 properties. The consultation comes to a close 10th September 2017.

Selective Licensing was introduced under the Housing Act 2004. The Housing Act 2004 says that before introducing selective licensing to any area local Councils must consult with all affected people, such as tenants, residents, landlords, managing agents, businesses, Police, Fire Service, local Councillors etc.

Selective Licensing applies to all private rented sector houses that are not licensed under HMO licensing, this includes non licensable HMOs. An area may be designated for selective licensing either (i) if the area is (or is likely to be) an area of low housing demand or (ii) the area is experiencing a significant and persistent problem caused by anti social behaviour that local authorities attribute to private sector landlords failing to take action to combat against unruly tenants. A designation can last up to five years.

Alongside the licence fees, landlords will also have to declare that they are a fit and proper person to hold a licence and holders of the licence will be required to comply with licensing conditions, some of which are mandatorily imposed by the Housing Act, and local licensing conditions from the council itself.

The proposed fees for a selective licence is £460 per home. The 19 page document detailing all the standard and discretionary conditions can be found here.

All houses of multiple occupations (HMOs) which are 3 stories and above, house 5 or more people (not from the same family), and share facilities legally require a Mandatory HMO Licence. The introduction of an Additional Licensing scheme covers the HMO properties that are not covered by this licence. This licence requires a landlord and their property to meet specific standards including whether a landlord is ‘fit and proper’ to be a landlord. Additional licenses last up to 5 years.

The proposed cost of an additional licence are between £670 – £1470 per home.

The wards covered in this proposal are:

  • Brunswick & Adelaide
  • Central Hove
  • East Brighton
  • Hanover & Elm Grove
  • Hollingdean & Stanmer
  • Moulsecoomb & Bevendean
  • Preston Park
  • Queens Park
  • Regency
  • South Portslade
  • St Peter’s & North Laine
  • Westbourne

If you are unsure on whether this proposal will affect your properties please get in touch with the council directly.

For more information please go to the council’s website here where you will be able to find out more, including the consultation questionnaire.  Alternatively if you have any queries please email PrsLicensingConsultation@brighton-hove.gov.uk or call (01273) 293164. A formal response to the consultation in the form of a letter can be sent to the PRS email address too.

The RLA will be making a response opposing this scheme, however it is beneficial to have as many members as possible to submit their own responses in order to ensure landlords are adequately represented in the Council’s decision making process. To see our past consultation replies visit the Campaigns and News Center page here, please feel free to use these as templates for your own responses.

About the author

India Cocking

India Cocking

India is the Local Government Officer for the RLA. Having completed her degree in International Politics at Aberystwyth University, India is currently working on updating and maintaining the Local Authority Network. This is of importance as it strengthens communication and understanding between landlords, local authorities, and the RLA. India is working towards gathering concise and clear data from all 435 local authorities on their licencing, fees, news, events and contact details.

Before joining the RLA India worked at Martin and Co Lettings Agent in her home town of Derby, the Welsh Assembly, and her local MP, alongside helping her parents run the family buy-to-let business.

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