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Council approves move to license all privately rented homes

Council approves move to license all privately rented homes

Oxford City Council has approved two licensing schemes aimed at improving conditions and driving up standards in private rented housing.

The cabinets meeting on Wednesday 10th March agreed to renew an ‘additional’ licensing scheme for all houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). Cabinet members also agreed to introduce a ‘selective licensing’ scheme that – if confirmed by central government – means that all privately rented homes will need to be licensed.

Licensing requires private landlords to show that they are complying with the law by meeting safety and management standards, being a ‘fit and proper person’ and meeting council waste storage and disposal requirements.

Additional HMO licensing renews the previous scheme which lapsed in January – a result of government advice to pause public consultation during the early stages of the pandemic. The new additional HMO licence scheme will run for five years and will commence after a statutory three month notice period on 10 June.

The selective licensing scheme must be confirmed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Officers will now begin work on two submissions to MHCLG, one outlining a selective licensing scheme for Holywell ward and the other proposing selective licensing in all wards except Holywell.

A citywide scheme is the council’s preferred option but it believes the preparation of two submissions would maximise the likelihood of achieving selective licensing in Oxford.

See our previous blog on the city’s plans for selective licencing here…

We will keep our clients updated with any further developments on this as and when timeframes are clear.

Full story here…