Landlords in Oxford who failed to apply for a licence during the first year of the city’s new scheme have been hit with a big fee hike.
its Selective licensing came into force last September and means all the city’s private rented homes need a licence.
A new rate of £1,100 now applies unless the property is newly rented within 12 weeks of a complete application, in which case the fee drops to £530.
It replaces a £480 fee available during the first year of the scheme – the result of a consultation with landlords and agents who argued that responsible landlords making early applications shouldn’t have to shoulder enforcement costs to compensate for those who applied late or not at all.
The council has received 10,840 licence applications and so far, has issued 2,124 licences, 3,092 draft licences and 66 temporary exemption notices.
Enforcement action Councillor Linda Smith (pictured), cabinet member for housing, says those private landlords or agents who haven’t yet applied not only face a higher fee but are also at risk of enforcement action if their properties remain unlicensed.
“We had nearly 11,000 licence applications during the first year of our selective licensing scheme and that’s great news for tenants and the majority of responsible landlords and agents,” she adds.
“Everyone should have a decent home and tenants deserve the confidence of knowing that theirs is safe, in good condition and well managed.”
The NRLA voiced its opposition 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.
Oxford is the only council in the country requiring a licence for all privately rented homes.
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