Short-term holiday lets could face crackdown in Brighton and Hove

Short-term holiday lets could face a crackdown in Brighton and Hove as concerns grow about the area’s housing supply.

Labour councillor Gill Williams is asking fellow councillors to back a motion aimed at paving the way for “mandatory licensing for all short-term lets”.

Councillor Williams wants to “ensure they are brought in line with rented accommodation in terms of the standards we expect and enforce as a local authority”.

She also wants to “make licences dependent upon owners producing health and safety certificates to ensure compliance”.

Brighton and Hove City Council would need stronger powers to crack down effectively so Councillor Williams wants the council to lobby the government for these.

She wants to the council to be able to “designate a minimum percentage of housing to be reserved for long-term lets and place a cap on the number of holiday lets”.

The council should be able to “rescind licences if holiday lets prove a nuisance to residents”, according to her motion.

And, she said, the council should be able to “introduce a licensing scheme similar to that laid out by the Welsh government, to not only limit the number of second homes and holiday lets, but to ensure fair taxation is extracted from them”.

The motion is due to be debated at a meeting of the full council at Hove Town Hall next Thursday (21 July).

The text of the motion has already been published and criticised “the disruption, distress, and exacerbation to the housing supply crisis that the rise in short-term holiday lettings such as Airbnb have inflicted on our local communities”.

It said: “Some short-term holiday lets have replaced long-term rental accommodation, stifling supply of rented accommodation and in turn driving rents up and conditions down.”

The motion also noted: “The detrimental impact holiday lets have on our local hospitality industry and on our aim for a circular local economy that builds community wealth.”

In February, Councillor Williams won backing for a motion aimed at ensuring new builds were the buyers’ “principal residence” to prevent investors from buying them up as holiday lets and second homes.

As a result, officials prepared a report for the council’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee last month.

Councillor Gill Williams

Labour councillor Amanda Evans said that young people were being priced out of Brighton and Hove as more homes were used as holiday lets or second homes.

Green councillor Marianna Ebel said that national legislation was needed to regulate the blight of existing holiday lets on parts of Brighton and Hove.

She said that neighbours had complained about noise and anti-social behaviour at a former family home which is now a holiday let for up to 10 guests in her ward, Goldsmid.

A snapshot in March found that the website airdna.co listed 3,118 properties in Brighton and Hove marketed as short-term holiday lets.

The figure is understood to be likely to be a mix of pure holiday lets and homes occasionally let by their owners, perhaps when they are away themselves.

The full council meeting is due to start at 4.30pm on Thursday and is scheduled to be webcast on the council’s website.

  1. Nige Reply

    Great news. Please get cracking with this!

  2. JC Reply

    The council have had the power to do this for years. All they needed to do was force the owners of houses used for AirBNB etc to formally apply for change of use to a commercial property.

  3. Jane L Reply

    I’m embarrassed for the council. The Government have already announced that a licensing scheme is definitely happening. So clearly as a tourism committee they are not even on top of their brief.
    In the interim the committee that is meant to be responsible for promoting economic tourism prosperity to the city which is the second largest employer will through wasting time on something that is happening regardless will just create lots of negative headlines for the city in all the national newspapers with everyone commenting about what a graffiti, run down mess the town has become under the Labour / Green council. This was what happened after their last meeting. The comments from visitors about the management of the city under this council were just terrible and addressing why the city is becoming such a dump for tourists to visit and families to live in. Have they wondered why for instance school places in west sussex are over subscribed as families move out and in Brighton they are talking about shutting school as families leave.

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