New licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation in Brighton and Hove
On 1 March 2018, a new additional licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) will come into effect in Brighton and Hove, extending the previous scheme which expired in November 2017.
The scheme will cover the whole of the city of Brighton and Hove and affect properties consisting of two or more storeys and with three or more occupiers who are not from the same family and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. The extended arrangements have been prompted by evidence that 88 per cent of properties already subject to licensing required improvements to ensure that they were fit and safe for occupation.
Anyone who owns and manages an HMO will have to apply to the Council for a licence, which will be issued if the Council is satisfied that the licence holder will be a fit a proper person and that there are suitable management arrangements in place for the property. The Council will inspect the property as part of the licensing process and may require work to be carried out before a licence will be granted. The Council will also carry out periodic compliance checks on licensed properties.
Failure to licence a property which should be licensed under this scheme is a criminal offence. Further advice and guidance can be obtained from the Council’s website at http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/housing/general-housing/licensing-houses-multiple-occupation-hmos and their Private Sector Housing team.