Sussex

Brighton and Hove Council mulls student landlord charge

  • 27 January 2012
  • From the section Sussex
Bill Randall
Image caption Council leader Bill Randall said he did not want to "demonise" students

Landlords in Brighton could be forced to pay about £450 if they want to rent out a house to students, under plans to expand a licensing scheme.

The city has a large student population and there have been problems in some neighbourhoods with late night noise.

The council believes the licence would help tackle noise problems and ensure young people have good-quality housing.

But critics say it would actually push up the price of rents and lead to a shortage of accommodation.

Currently houses that are three storeys high and contain five or more people on a shared basis need a Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence, which costs £700.

The Green-led council wants to extend HMO licensing to smaller houses in problem areas, and those licences would cost about £450.

'Increase the price'

Council leader Bill Randall said: "This would benefit the community where it's about the litter and the noise from student houses.

"But I wouldn't want to demonise students. Not all students cause problems by any means and not all the problems are caused by students either.

"But we do want to be able to control it and perhaps deal with it more quickly than we can at the moment."

But David Cichon, president of the University of Sussex Students' Union, said costs for licensing would just be passed on to students.

"Students are a very important part of the community in Brighton and without offering any viable affordable alternative it will just drive students outside of the city," he said.

"It will decrease the quality of housing and increase the price of housing for students in Brighton."

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