7 March 2016

Landlord told to stop renting out property as a shared house

The landlord of a property near Fiveways in Brighton is no longer allowed to let the property as a shared house.

Last year Brighton & Hove City Council served a planning enforcement notice on the property, 9 Adams Close, Brighton, on the grounds that there are already many shared houses in the immediate area. The landlord continued to let out the house, despite not having the necessary planning permission, while appealing against the enforcement notice to the government’s planning inspectorate.

Last month, the landlord’s appeal was dismissed by the government’s planning inspectorate following consideration of the case. The result means it will be an offence for the owner to continue to use the property as a shared house for rent.

The property was until recently still being advertised to future tenants, these advertisements have now been withdrawn.

Councillor Julie Cattell, chair of the council’s Planning Committee, said: “It is very good news that our local planning decisions are getting government backing. Last year, two other appeals were dismissed in the same way. This recent decision enables the council to prosecute the landlord if the terms of the notice are breached.”

In April 2013, the council introduced additional planning controls for anyone wishing to set-up small houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) within the five electoral wards of Hanover and Elm Grove, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, Hollingdean and Stanmer, St Peter’s and North Laine and Queen’s Park.

The rules require landlords wanting to establish shared housing to gain planning consent from the council as well as an HMO Licence.The rule applies to any home being occupied by three to six unrelated individuals. Planning permission is always required for more than six unrelated persons to occupy a property as a HMO throughout the city.

The council has recently advised letting agencies of their duty to pass on material information to tenants about whether properties have planning permission.

Cllr Anne Meadows, chair of Housing and New Homes Committee, said: “The council’s HMO planning restrictions enable us to maintain a balance of communities for the benefit of families, single people and people in shared housing alike. This recent decision sends a message that our policies are in the best interest of our residents.”

More information about HMOs and the council’s licencing scheme