Navigating the Labyrinth: A Guide to HMO Properties in Brighton

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  • Navigating the Labyrinth: A Guide to HMO Properties in Brighton

Brighton, the vibrant seaside city in the south of England, is a melting pot of culture, history, and undeniable charm. It’s no surprise that this dynamic city attracts residents from all walks of life, leading to a constant demand for housing. Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) have become a significant part of the housing landscape in Brighton, offering affordable and flexible accommodation options for many residents, particularly students and young professionals.

What are HMOs?

An HMO, in the context of housing, stands for House in Multiple Occupation. It refers to a property where:

  • At least 3 tenants live there: This isn’t just any group of 3 people – they need to be from more than one “household.” Think of a household as a single family or individual living together.
  • Shared facilities exist: Tenants share kitchen, bathroom, or toilet facilities.

HMOs come in various forms, including:

  • Shared houses: Where multiple unrelated tenants rent rooms and share common areas.
  • Bedsits: Single rooms with shared facilities in a larger property.
  • Student flats: Shared flats typically occupied by students, often with shared kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Halls of residence: Similar to student flats, but often owned and managed by the university.

The Rise of HMOs in Brighton

Several factors have contributed to the rise of HMOs in Brighton:

  • High housing demand: Brighton’s popularity as a tourist destination and student hub creates a constant demand for accommodation, pushing traditional housing options to capacity.
  • Affordability: HMOs tend to be more affordable than single dwellings, making them attractive to tenants on a budget.
  • Space optimization: HMOs can maximize space utilization in densely populated areas.

Are you currently looking for a valuation on your rental property? Call us today and speak to our lettings manager Beth Roberts on 01273 724000 or click here.

Living in a Brighton HMO: The Pros and Cons


  • Affordability: As mentioned earlier, HMOs are generally cheaper than single dwellings, making them ideal for budget-conscious individuals.
  • Socialization: Sharing a living space with others can foster a sense of community and provide opportunities to meet new people.
  • Location: HMOs are often located in central areas, close to amenities and public transport.


  • Privacy concerns: Sharing amenities and living spaces can compromise privacy.
  • Noise and disruption: Living with multiple people can lead to noise disturbances, especially in older or poorly managed properties.
  • Potential for conflict: Sharing common areas can sometimes lead to disagreements and conflicts between tenants.

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Regulations and Considerations for HMOs in Brighton

Brighton & Hove City Council has implemented regulations to ensure HMOs meet specific safety and living standards. These regulations cover aspects like fire safety, minimum space requirements, and the provision of amenities.

Before choosing an HMO in Brighton, it’s crucial to consider the following:

  • Licensing: Check if the HMO is licensed by the council. Unlicensed HMOs may not meet safety standards and could be illegal.
  • Amenities: Consider the number and condition of shared amenities like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry facilities.
  • Tenancy agreement: Carefully read and understand the tenancy agreement before signing.
  • Location: Think about your proximity to desired amenities and public transport links.

The Future of HMOs in Brighton

HMOs are likely to remain a significant part of Brighton’s housing landscape in the foreseeable future. With the city’s ongoing popularity and limited housing availability, they offer a viable and often necessary accommodation option for many residents. However, ensuring quality standards, responsible management, and tenant well-being will be crucial for the continued success of HMOs in Brighton.

By understanding the pros and cons of HMO living, carefully considering regulations, and making informed choices, individuals can navigate the labyrinth of HMOs in Brighton and find a suitable and comfortable place to call home in this vibrant seaside city.

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google-review Review
17:30 22 Feb 24
Have been very accommodating and helpful when calling agents. They have been very helpful in being able to secure a house for students.
16:42 21 Feb 24
Went above and beyond to get things sorted for me
Brittany Stace
Brittany Stace
11:18 24 Jan 24
Harringtons have been incredibly helpful and supportive of us as new renters and they have been super efficient in getting all of the documents sent through and signed in such a short period of time. Thank you!
Georgie Prebble
Georgie Prebble
20:36 05 Jan 24
Jade Innes
Jade Innes
10:24 04 Jan 24
So far the service has been good. The staff are very friendly and quick to respond to any questions and requests.
Polly Smith
Polly Smith
11:17 28 Dec 23
we chose this letting agents as they chose a good bills company that is much cheaper than other agents. When viewing houses the staff were very friendly and have been very helpful in answering our questions and making the process as easy as possible.
Emma Howe
Emma Howe
16:06 14 Nov 23
I would rate Harringtons Lettings a 5/5. Very lovely on the phone and very quick and easy to communicate with via email. Any problems have been resolved in no time at all. So far so good!I found Harringtons via Rightmove.
Akwisitions Feedback
Akwisitions Feedback
16:25 30 Oct 23
Very responsive and super helpful throughout the process. Highly recommended!
Chloe Ballard
Chloe Ballard
17:28 02 Oct 23
Although I have only been renting with Harringtons for a short period of time, I have had nothing but a positive experience. From viewing to admin updates. The admin team especially are very polite and quick to respond and I have no doubt that the rest of my tenancy will run smoothly. I would recommend to anyone considering renting in brighton.
Matthew Ball
Matthew Ball
11:46 19 Sep 23
Professional communication with tenant although entirely impersonal. There was a bigger disconnect in their communication with the landlord in most cases, which seemed to be either slow or non-existent (discovered after contacting the landlord directly).Property was full of spider webs on day 1 despite apparently being professionally cleaned. Took a day off of work to clean it on move out day, leaving it cleaner than when it received but still had to pay part of the deposit for professional cleaning.It has been a while since I have rented, but I'll avoid letting agencies completely now if this is anything close to the average renting experience.
Ronan SK
Ronan SK
12:38 12 Sep 23
Great professionalism/communciation from the start up until the end of my tenancy. Definitely set the standards for what agencies should be like. Highly recommend to those within Brighton.
Daniel Sutton
Daniel Sutton
10:29 24 Aug 23
I have rented with Harringtons Lettings before and have always found the agents to be quick, efficient, friendly and helpful. I loved their service so much I have chosen to rent with Harringtons again. Faultless 😊
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