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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Council call for business rates on HMOs

Brighton and Hove City Council are looking at charging HMO landlords business rates.

The Labour ran Council are to write to the Government asking for a change in the law.

Brighton and Hove has 15,000 Houses in Multiple Occupation, the highest number in the country.

Labour Councillors believe that HMO landlords have an advantage over other potential property investments, such as  hotels and self-catering holiday, and believe charging business rates would help stop the ever proliferation of HMOs in the area. 

They are currently looking for cross party backing from councillors before presenting their argument to the Government.

Conservative councillors have questioned the proposal, airing their concern it will just push up rents, whereas the Green Party are supporting the idea and wish for it to be extended to include all rental property. 

Labour Cllr Warren Morgan, Leader of the Council, argues: 

“There is an increasing impact on city services of HMOs, many of which house students. Residents are telling us that their community is changing, that there is too much fly-tipping and that they are paying for services where all too often HMO landlords are not.

Our universities contribute hugely to the city. We need to find a happier balance between the costs and benefits of being a university town. We are looking at more enforcement and regulation of HMOs, we will work with the universities to try to make neighbourhoods as well-maintained as possible, but the government needs to play its part as well by helping us offset the additional costs.”

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