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Lettings News: Why your rented property in Brighton may need a license soon

Ahmed Khalil of Khalil Properties explains how many local landlords may be affected by the proposed extension of licensing requirements in Brighton.

If you rent out a property in Brighton, there are changes afoot that could well affect you. Brighton & Hove City Council is proposing further licensing requirements for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) across the city.

What is licensing?
Licensing is the need for landlords to register their properties with the council so that health and safety checks can be made. Usually you hear about licensing in relation to HMOs – don’t be fooled, HMOs are not just large blocks of flats but small homes, like the one you rent out.

What is an HMO?
The actual definition of an HMO will catch the vast majority of properties that are not rented to a single family. An HMO is any property that is the main home to at least three tenants, who form more than one family household, and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
A similar scheme was introduced in 2012 to the Lewes Road area, but it is now being proposed to be extended to Brunswick & Adelaide, Central Hove, East Brighton, Goldsmid, Preston Park, Regency and Westbourne.

What will licensing mean?
Now that depends who you ask! According to Bill Randall, chair of the housing committee, licensing is a way to register all homes so they can be inspected: “Private rented housing accounts for about 30% of all the city’s housing, and the council has a duty to make sure these homes are safe, healthy and well-managed.”

According to the Brighton chapter of the National Landlord’s Association (NLA): “Licensing is a further tax on the private rented sector, targeting tenants that are not related to each other. Shared housing is often occupied by young people and key workers, vital to keeping the city running. Licensing will increase the costs for these tenants, and make housing more unaffordable in Brighton.”

What can you do?
The consultation on the proposed extension is ongoing until 20 April 2015. If you have any concerns you can have your say at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/hmo-survey, or by writing to HMO Licensing Consultation, Private Sector Housing, Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove, BN3 3BQ.

Can renting out properties ever be easy?
If you’re looking for an easier way to manage your investment in property then let me introduce our Guaranteed Rent scheme. It takes away the hassles of finding and managing tenants, day-to-day maintenance issues and the endless worries over what red tape the council may be introducing next.

Quite simply we lease your property for five years, we guarantee you rent every month whether the property is occupied or not, and we return your investment to you in exactly the same condition as we received it in.

That sounds refreshingly easy, doesn’t it?
For more information about local renting conditions or to discuss current rental opportunities, call Ahmed Khalil on 01273 573960, visit Khalil Properties at 124 Lewes Road, Brighton, BN2 3LG, or find us online at www.khalilproperties.co.uk