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Oxford's controversial selective licensing scheme to start on September 1st

oxford selective licensing

Oxford has received Secretary of State approval for its controversial new selective licensing scheme covering half the city, after it was first announced in August 2020.

All private rented homes (49.3% of the city's housing stock) will need a licence from 1st September. Oxford was the first council in England to introduce a citywide scheme that required every HMO to be licensed back in 2011 - making up less than 15% of private rented homes.

The NRLA opposed the new scheme during the authority's consultation, arguing that HMO licensing had led to rents increasing, and to those on lower incomes in the city being driven out of it, as the council seeks to rehouse people in Birmingham and elsewhere.

However, the council says 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.


In 2021, the council said it had received 3,360 complaints from private renters about 2,990 properties in a five-year period '� around one in 10 of all privately rented homes.

A five-year licence for the selective licensing scheme 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, who are being encouraged to register their interest now so that the council can contact them when the application process starts.


Selective licensing