Government approval of an Oxford City Council ‘selective licensing’ scheme means that all private rented homes in Oxford will need a licence from this September.
Half (49.3%) of all Oxford’s homes are now privately rented. An independent review of housing conditions in 2020 found that a fifth (6,200) of the 30,500 homes in Oxford’s private rented sector could have a serious housing hazard.
Currently only houses in multiple occupation – shared houses – require a licence to operate, though these make up less than 15% of private rented homes in Oxford. Approval of selective licensing means that all private rented homes will need a licence to help ensure they are safe, well maintained and well managed.
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.
The selective licensing scheme will run for five years and starts on 1 September.
A five year licence will cost £480, with an early bird discounted rate of £400 for landlords who apply within the first three months. There will also be a discounted fee of £280 for accredited landlords.