A Green Party councillor on Oxford City Council has proposed a lettings agency idea because it would “be a way of driving up standards and leading by example”. However, councillors voted not to emulate a similar move made by London's Brent Council.
Compulsory local licensing of all HMOs was introduced by the council in 2012, obliging landlords, or their managing agents, renting a property to groups of three or more, to be licenced and undergo regular inspections as well as paying a fee of £362 or more.
The council has now started a roadshow at locations around the city, consulting on proposed increases in HMO charges to as much as £699 for an initial application and up to £350 for a renewal application.
Property consultancy CBRE says 28.2 per cent of all Oxford households rent privately, paying an average of £1,175 pcm for a city centre flat.