New private rented sector licensing schemes

Following consultation in summer 2017, the introduction of two new licensing schemes for private rented housing in the city was agreed at the Housing & New Homes Committee on 15 November 2017

A new designation for a citywide Additional Licensing Scheme for smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation has been made. An application has been made to the Secretary of State for approval to proceed with a Selective Licensing Scheme of other private rented properties in 12 wards in the city.  

The aim of the new schemes is to improve consistency of management and maintenance standards in the city's private rented housing and you can find further details below.

The consultations closed in September 2017 and a report on the results of the consultation was agreed at the Housing & New Homes Committee on 15 November 2017. You can also read the report on the responses to the licensing consultations (PDF 2.41mb).

The full background on the decision to propose the schemes is given in the private rented sector discretionary licensing reports discussed by the Housing & New Homes Committee on 16 November 2016  and 14 June 2017.

Additional licensing scheme

Councils can introduce additional licensing schemes for HMOs smaller than those to which the mandatory scheme applies​ where certain conditions are met. The council has been operating schemes in parts of the city since 2012, and we will now be implementing the scheme city-wide. This will affect properties of two or more storeys occupied by three or more people who are not from the same family and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.

Further information on the new additional licensing scheme is below.

Selective licensing scheme

Selective licensing enables authorities to licence privately rented accommodation other than HMOs where certain conditions are met. The proposed selective licensing scheme would apply to 12 wards in the city – St Peter’s & North Laine, Regency, Moulsecoomb & Bevendean, Hollingdean & Stanmer, Queen’s Park, Hanover & Elm Grove, Brunswick & Adelaide, East Brighton, South Portslade, Central Hove, Westbourne and Preston Park. An application has been made to the Secretary of State for approval to proceed with this scheme and it could affect approximately 27,000 properties. 

Further information on the selective licensing proposals is below.

If you have any queries, please email