Oxford City Council has approved the renewal of the Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing scheme for another five years.
The decision followed a consultation which showed that a significant proportion of HMOs in the City are being managed ineffectively hence the need for extending the licensing scheme.
It will cover the whole of Oxford and come into force on 25 January 2016 for three and two storey HMOs, while all other HMOs will be subject to the new scheme from January 2017 for up to four years. The HMO licensing regime will cease to have effect on 24 January 2021or earlier if the Council revokes it.
HMO licensing was introduced in 2011 and has led to the licensing of nearly 3,500 properties in the city. Over the past four years, landlords have invested more than £3.2 million in HMOs to improve standards and provide better housing for residents.
The Council has also successfully prosecuted over 50 landlords and cautioned about 40 others for failing to comply with HMO licensing requirements or management standards.
Councillor Bob Price, Leader of Oxford City Council, says: "The City Council's initiative in setting up the licensing scheme has been fully justified by our experience in the five years that it has been in operation.
"Standards have improved markedly, landlords have invested heavily in better living conditions for tenants, and there has been a massive fall in the number of tenants' complaints.
"We hope that the next five years will bring all currently unlicensed properties into the scheme and will further raise standards in this growing sector of the housing market."