By Belinda Maude
Houses used for short term, self-catered lets are under scrutiny by Brighton and Hove city council due to noise disturbances.
Properties let out to stag dos and hen parties have caused complaints from residents as a result of excessive noise late at night.
The issue of ‘party houses,’ was first raised at a Queens Park community meeting and Brighton and Hove Council has devised a panel to discuss the issue.
Geoffrey Bowden, chair of the panel, said: “Areas with many of these properties will experience the parties coming back at different stages in the early hours of the morning.
“These residents may have small children or be nursing the sick; they deserve their peace and quiet.”
Webpages advertising the houses show that a few have the facilities to sleep up to 30 people and it is estimated that there are around 300 properties in Brighton and Hove.
The panel aims to gather information from a variety of individuals before presenting it to the council to come up with a solution.
Most of the properties are covered by fire safety legislation but where they fall short of the standards, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service have to get involved.
A spokesperson for East Sussex Fire and Rescue has commented: “We know that the majority of holiday lettings companies provide safe, high quality accommodation for visitors.
“[However] as with any industry, there will always be exceptions.”
An issue in Brighton and Hove is the large housing waiting list and the properties used for party houses could help to tackle this.
However, large hen and stag dos have a considerable economic benefit to the city.
Mr Bowden commented: “They may well spend their pounds but this could result in their use of the emergency services so there are two sides to each coin.”
The purpose of the investigation is to make sure all the properties are regulated and to create a Gold Standard for the owners to follow.
Stuart Willows commented on the online panel claiming, “There is no loud music played at night, so presumably the operator has stipulated that they will lose their deposit if they play music after a certain hour.”
Some short term letting operators may have a deposit system in place and instigating rules such as these may be the way forward.
Mr Bowden remarked: “There is something rather charming about sharing special moments with a large group of people however they must take notice of those who live there all year round.”