Plans to raise the transfer and licence fees on the city’s 459 beach huts on Hove seafront are to be considered by councillors.
At present, owners of the privately owned huts pay an annual licence fee of £367.20 for having the hut on council land.
If owners sell their hut they pay just £82 to the council as a ‘stamp duty’ – much lower than neighbouring councils like Adur and Worthing, and Rother.
But with sales for Hove beach huts rocketing to as much as £25,000 – way above the rate of inflation – councillors will now vote on whether the fee should be brought in line with other local authorities.
The proposals, being put before the tourism, development and culture committee next Thursday (11 Jan), would mean the licence fee rising by £36.80 to £404, and the transfer fee, to be paid by the seller, then being three times the new licence fee or 10 per cent of the sale price, whichever is greater.
Committee chair, councillor Alan Robins, said: “Our findings shows that both the licence fee and transfer fee charged by the city council is lower than other local authorities in the area.
“If councillors agree, these changes will bring Brighton & Hove in line with charges made by other neighbouring authorities.”
A beach hut can be sold on when it has been owned for three years, but only to other Brighton & Hove residents. In 2016 there were 37 transfers and so far in 2017 there have been 45 transfers.
Huts sold this year have ranged in price from £16,000 – £22,500, with one currently on the market at £25,000. Sales evidence suggests some owners have seen the value of their huts increase by 45-50% over the 5 year period since 2012.
Cllr Robins added: “In recent years, the value of a beach hut on the seafront has risen well above inflation and more in line with the increases in the local property market.
“It is only fair that as owners’ profits increase, so too do the fees they pay for owning the property on council land in a prime location.”