Student landlords to be licensed in three Brighton council wards

Posted On 20 Dec 2010 at 8:14 pm

The licensing of landlords looks likely to be extended in three Brighton and Hove City Council wards.

The proposed scheme is restricted to areas where many family homes have been let to students.

It is intended to help students and their neighbours and is currently the subject of a consultation.

The scheme was discussed at a meeting of the Brighton and Hove Strategic Housing partnership today.

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The partnership includes landlords, letting agents, the voluntary sector, university representatives and the council.

If Maria Caulfield, the council’s cabinet member for housing, approves the scheme at a meeting next month, it is likely to start in February or March.

The three wards that will be affected are Moulsecoomb and Bevendean – which Councillor Caulfield represents for the Conservatives – Hanover and Elm Grove and St Peter’s and North Laine.

They are the wards with the highest number of family homes being let to students.

Councillor Caulfield said that in The Avenue in Bevendean alone, for example, there were 30 to 40 family homes now being let to three or more students.

The council already licences landlords who let larger houses that have been turned into flats – known as HMOs or houses in multiple occupation – across Brighton and Hove.

As part of the council’s student housing strategy the scheme is likely to be extended to landlords of smaller properties in the three wards most affected by “studentification”.

The council wants to tackle the problems associated with a high number of students living in homes designed for families.

These problems include noise nuisance and litter, the council said.

Councillor Caulfield said that the scheme would also provide a measure of protection and reassurance for students.

She said: “We drew up a student housing strategy last year in conjunction with the universities and private landlords after issues around students were raised by community groups like the Bevendean Local Action Team.

“We welcome landlords in the city but we do hear the concerns of residents who have landlords using homes as buy-to-lets that were originally built for families.”

Landlords of student houses would pay for a licence under the scheme – just as hundreds of landlords already do under the present regime, which is governed by the Housing Act 2004. And licences would have to be renewed periodically – probably after three years.

Landlords with several properties can probably expect a discount when the scheme is finalised – if it is approved.

Councillor Caulfield said: “Students bring many benefits to the city and there are many excellent landlords in the city.

“But in areas of high concentrations of HMOs, especially where many students live together, there is a minority of landlords whose management is less than effective and encourages noise and litter nuisance.

“This additional licensing aims to address these problems while improving properties for tenants themselves.

“The licensing scheme is designed to be self-financing and the proposal would ensure the overall improvement of many homes housing three or more people.”

  1. Paul Perrin Reply

    Tuition fees due to go through the roof – so what do Brighton and Hove City Council do? Add another layer of costs that students will end up paying — all to create some extra council jobs — absolutely disgusting behaviour.

    With the local elections coming up next year, I hope this isn’t forgotten.

  2. John Power Reply

    “This additional licensing aims to address these problems while improving properties for tenants themselves.” – We all know that’s not what this is about. Don’t insult my intelligence.

    “the scheme would also provide a measure of protection and reassurance for students.” This will provide absolutely no protection and the only reassurance will be a higher rent bill.

    Your ‘protection’ racket will be remembered come the local elections.

  3. Paul Perrin Reply

    It seems that those affected need to be consulted – I don’t see any students being consulted here…

    A students university no more represents a student than does a students landlord or a students neighbour.

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