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Letting agents asked to pass new planning information to landlords

A council has asked agents in its area to tell landlords of additional planning powers taken by the authority which may rule out some properties as potential homes to let.

This follows the case of a landlord of a property near Fiveways in Brighton who is no longer allowed to let the property as a shared house.

Last year Brighton & Hove City Council served a planning enforcement notice on the property on the grounds that there are already many shared houses in the immediate area. The landlord continued to let out the house, despite not having the necessary planning permission, while appealing against the enforcement notice to the government’s planning inspectorate.

Last month, the landlord’s appeal was dismissed by the government’s planning inspectorate: the result means it will be an offence for the owner to continue to use the property as a shared house for rent.

The property was until recently still being advertised to future tenants, these advertisements have now been withdrawn.

In April 2013, the council introduced additional planning controls for anyone wishing to set-up small houses in multiple occupation within five electoral wards in the area. 

The rules require landlords wanting to establish shared housing to gain planning consent from the council as well as an HMO Licence.The rule applies to any home being occupied by three to six unrelated individuals. Planning permission is always required for more than six unrelated persons to occupy a property as an HMO throughout the city.

The council has recently advised letting agencies of their duty to pass on material information to tenants about whether properties have planning permission.

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