People living near party houses to be given better support

A dedicated phone line will be set up for people complaining about anti-social behaviour at holiday lets.

Councillors wanted “more teeth” to help neighbours experiencing noise and bad behaviour from people spending a night or weekend in party houses and flats.

Records showed that Brighton and Hove City Council received just 12 complaints about noise and two for anti-social behaviour at short-term lets.

But these figures did not match the number of emails sent to councillors.

Green councillor Marianna Ebel shared complaints from people living in her ward about a house let to hen parties every weekend during the summer.

When the council’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee met at Hove Town Hall yesterday (Thursday 5 March), she said: “There was noise day and night. They have strippers performing in the garden.

“Residents felt helpless. These people left the next day and there was not enough time to get a visit from environmental health.”

Another Green councillor, Steph Powell, also spoke about complaints from people living near houses let out for hen and stag weekends, where visitors stripped and played “beer pong” in the gardens.

She said: “This is something we can all resonate with. A simple idea to rent a bedroom has become a multimillion-pound business with people buying houses for this business.”

The Hanover and Elm Grove councillor said: “In my own ward people experience noise every day with people stripping and playing beer pong day in, day out. It becomes unbearable.”

Chief Ssuperintendent Nick May, the police divisional commander for Brighton and Hove, said that he had spoken with officers based at Hove Town Hall about holiday lets.

He said that they confirmed anti-social behaviour was a problem at holiday lets.

He said that some were being used as a base for drug dealing at times, adding: “That is a significant issue.”

He said that Sussex Police was working with the council to deal with the issue.

Another Green councillor, Clare Rainey, said that many houses in popular parts of Brighton were used as holiday lets, particularly in the roads south of St James’s Street.

She said that in Camelford Street there were eight short-term let properties and in neighbouring Margaret Street a fifth of the houses were holiday lets.

Councillors  agreed to ask the government for the power to limit the number of houses in one street used for holiday lets and to restrict the number of days and for how long a house could be let.

They also asked for holiday lets to be classed separately under planning rules to make them easier to regulate and for companies such as Airbnb and Booking.com to share information on their property lets with councils.

The subject is also on the agenda when the council’s Housing Committee next meets – at Hove Town Hall next Wednesday (11 March).

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