Licensing approved for Oxford

Oxford City Council’s ‘selective licensing’ scheme was given the green light, meaning that all private rented homes in the city will need a licence from September.

Just under half (49.3 per cent) of all Oxford’s homes are privately rented.

An independent review in 2020 found that more than a fifth (6,200) of the 30,500 homes in Oxford’s private rented sector could have a serious housing hazard.

Imogen Thomas, the city council’s private sector tenants’ champion, welcomed the Government approval, saying tenants will be safer under selective licensing.

She said: “A licensing system for the entire private rented housing sector in Oxford was a key part of Labour’s four-year manifesto at the 2021 elections – and we are delighted to say that it will be delivered ahead of schedule.

“From September 1, all privately rented homes in Oxford will need to be licensed.

“That means that conditions will be improved, tenants will be safer, and law-abiding landlords need not fear being undercut by the cowboys.

“Tenants in the private rented sector are all too often left at the mercy of a system that it is weighted against them.”

Approval of the selective licensing scheme means Oxford will be the only council outside London to require licensing for all houses in multiple occupation and other private rented homes.

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