Decision details

Decision details

Licensing Private Rented Sector Homes

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Council had before it the original text of the motion proposed by Councillor L Smith (set out in the agenda and briefing note) and amendments proposed by Councillor Wade (set out in the briefing note).

Councillor Wade, seconded by Councillor Gant, proposed her amendment to the new text of the motion. After debate and on being put to the vote the amendment was declared lost.

Councillor L Smith, seconded by Councillor Taylor, proposed the submitted motion without amendment.

After debate and on being put to the vote the motion as set out below was agreed.


Council resolved to adopt the following motion:


This Council notes that:

·       The private rented sector is continuing to grow in Oxford, over 30% of Oxford residents rent their home privately.

·       This council has a strong record of taking action to improve privately rented homes in our city.

·       We were the first in England to use discretionary powers to require every House in Multiple Occupation to be licensed to operate and this has successfully driven up standards.

·       We currently use the 2004 Housing Act to regulate the rest of the private rented sector. We carry out 250 inspection visits a year and serve over 300 enforcement notices against poor landlords. However, the last stock condition survey showed that the private rented sector in Oxford has twice the national level of disrepair.

·       Local authorities currently have the power to implement licensing for all privately rented homes in no more than 20% of their area or to licence no more than 20% of the privately rented stock. The consent of the Secretary of State is required to approve any licensing scheme which exceeds this 20% rule.


This council believes it should have more powers to enforce minimum property standards and protect tenants.


This council supports a city-wide licensing scheme in order to ensure all Oxford landlords are fit and proper persons and all properties let to the residents of our city meet minimum standards and are a safe place to call home.


This council believes that extending licensing to cover all privately rented homes in the city will continue to improve standards, reduce carbon emissions, drive out rogue landlords, reduce anti-social behaviour and ensure all rented homes are safe to live in.


This Council therefore resolves to ask the Cabinet Member to continue discussions with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to make the case for a city-wide licensing scheme for every property in the private rented sector, and with Government agreement bring forward a plan to introduce a requirement for every privately let property in Oxford to be licensed.

Publication date: 03/02/2020

Date of decision: 27/01/2020

Decided at meeting: 27/01/2020 - Council