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Oxford council throw out proposal to launch its own letting agency but seek massive HMO fees hike

Oxford council throw out proposal to launch its own letting agency but seek massive HMO fees hike

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.