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Cabinet councillors to consider 'better regulation of HMOs'

Cabinet councillors at Eastbourne Borough Council are to consider a new policy that would give the authority more licensing and enforcement powers overs Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

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The move follows a study commissioned by Eastbourne Borough Council to provide an objective and informed look at the role of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and how they should operate in the future. While the report recognised the valuable role played by HMOs, it also identified how they can also cause concern in communities.

Councillor Stephen Holt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said:

"When I commissioned this study into HMOs in Eastbourne, I made it clear that I fully recognised the important role they play, not least for people on lower incomes or working on short-term contracts.  However, in some locations the standards we expect are not being met and instances of anti-social behaviour have increased.

"Sub-standard HMOs are not acceptable, and I am determined that going forward we, along with our partners, will have the powers to take whatever action is needed address instances where this is the case."

The interventions that councillors will consider include measures to mitigate wider parking issues, a new policy that provides more extensive criteria for applications for new HMOs to be assessed against, a direction to remove permitted development rights from small HMOs,  enhanced prescribed standards for licensed HMOs and a streamlined system for monitoring complaints associated with HMOs.

Councillor Peter Diplock, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:

"This is an important step forward in improving standards for residents throughout Eastbourne.

"Better regulation of HMOs means working with landlords, not against them, and I think that the new forum idea could play a very helpful role in that approach.

"I look forward to discussing all the options presented with Cabinet colleagues."

 Eastbourne Borough Council's Cabinet Committee will meet on June 12.

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