Private Rented Housing Enforcement

Investigating housing offences

Investigating housing offences

When we receive reports of unlicensed HMOs and breaches of housing legislation, including landlord and tenant law, we will investigate to establish the facts and gather evidence of offences that have been committed.

In most cases we will give 24 hours' prior notice of inspections. However, if we suspect an offence is being committed relating to HMO legisation we can inspect without giving any prior notice. In either case, if we are refused access we can apply to the Magistrates' Court to obtain a warrant. This allows us to enter by force if necessary.

Once we have inspected, we may serve legal notices requiring work to be completed, or information to establish exactly how the property is being occupied and managed. Failing to comply with these notices is an offence.

The investigation process may also include formal interviews under caution, gathering witness statements, and information sharing with other enforcement agencies.

Each case is judged on its own merits and in accordance with our enforcement policy and the CPS evidential and public interest tests.

Landlords cannot regain possession of their property using Section 21 Notices whilst an HMO remains unlicensed.

Our enforcement policy

Our policy is to strive to ensure that the health, safety, well-being and environment of Oxford's residents, visitors, employees and employers are protected and improved wherever possible. We enforce legislation in accordance with government guidance and our approved enforcement policy.

If you would like to comment on any aspect of our Enforcement Policy please contact us.

Corporate Enforcement Policy