In these times of increased litigation it would appear that a number of landlords from Oxford, together with BPF (British Property Federation) and ARLA (Association of Residential Letting agents) have joined forces to apply for judicial review of the proposals by the City to extend the licensing scheme for HMOs. They have perceived this as the only route to challenge the cities proposals as it it is claimed the consultation had little or no impact.
It would appear that David Smith of Pain Smith solicitors, a highly respected lawyer in the field of residential lettings law, has been instructed. Whilst we recognise that improvements to the housing stock in the private rental sector is a laudable aim, College and County still believe that Environmental development have considerable powers under HHSRS (Housing Health and Safety Rating system) of the 2004 Housing Act to target property and landlords who fail to comply with minimum standards.
Whilst additional licensing may be a positive move in some parts of Oxford, the proposals passed by council represent an excessive burden on the compliant and more progressive landlords in Oxford and an over bureaucratic mechanism for delivery. We strongly believe that as we visit our client's property at least 3 times per year, we could, with appropriate training ensure compliance, and significantly reduce the cost of licensing.
If you would wish to engage in this group action please contact David Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to your British Property Federation representative. If you would like further information on the proposal for action, please contact Mark Crampton Smith.
Read David Smith's thoughts on a Judicial Review of Additional Licensing in Oxford