Review of Additional Licensing Scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in Oxford.
Decision Maker: City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019)
Decision status: Recommendations approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Council designated the whole of the City subject to Additional Licensing of HMOs in 2010 which was phased into effect from the 24 January 2011 and 31 January 2012. Each Phase of the scheme was designated for 5 years and during this time the Council must undertake a review. The report submitted to the June CEB provided findings from a review of the impact of the scheme. CEB agreed to proceed with a consultation exercise regarding the future of the Additional Licensing scheme.
The report to be submitted to the October CEB will set out the results of the consultation exercise for Additional Licensing and set out recommendations for the future of the scheme.
The Executive Director, Regeneration and Housing submitted a report (previously circulated, now appended) which detailed the results from the consultation carried out for the HMO Licensing Scheme and sought approval to designate the whole of the City as subject to additional licensing under section 56(1) (a) of the Housing Act 2004 in relation to the size and type of HMO specified in the recommendations of this report for 5 years commencing the 25 January 2016.
Cllr Turner, Executive Board Member for Finance, Corporate Asset Management and Public Health presented the report, highlighting the Council’s duty to be pro-active in addressing the problems of poor quality accommodation in the private rented sector because the acute housing shortage in the city meant that tenants were often reluctant to complain about conditions. He commended officers for a clear report and for the thoroughness of the consultation process. In conclusion he informed the Board that he had agreed the scrutiny recommendations (appended).
The Chair of the Scrutiny Housing Panel presented the Panel’s report and recommendations. She commended officers on the high level of community engagement in the consultation and was pleased to note that both of the Panel recommendations had been agreed by CEB, particularly the need to investigate the potential to increase the number of free bulky items collections for tenants living in HMOs. She said that the impact of HMOs on the local environment should not be underestimated especially in areas where there was a high density of HMOs and she urged the Council to consider all options to control and improve the problems of parking, waste collection and landscaping.
In response to questions the HMO Enforcement Team Manager explained that the Council had limited powers to deal with parking problems but that officers worked with the County Council to do what they could to minimise the situation in local areas. Officers were also developing a new on-line system which would simplify the application process.
The legal advisor said that there was no requirement for the proposals at Recommendations 5 and 6 to be referred to Council for approval. He confirmed that the proposals were within the powers of executive delegation of the City Executive Board.
The City Executive Board resolved to:
1. Note the report of the Consultation of Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation 2015 and its findings attached at Appendix 1;
2. Agree that having considered the report of the consultation, which shows that a significant proportion of HMOs in the City are being managed ineffectively, an additional licensing scheme is required for a further 5 years;
3. Agree to designate the whole of the City as subject to additional licensing under section 56(1)(a) of the Housing Act 2004 for all three storey Houses in Multiple Occupation that contain three or four occupiers and all two storey Houses in Multiple Occupation that contain five or more occupiers with the designation coming into force on 25 January 2016 for a period of 5 years;
4. Agree to designate the whole of the City as subject to additional licensing under section 56(1)(a) of the Housing Act 2004 in relation to all two storey or single storey Houses in Multiple Occupation that contain three or four occupiers and all self-contained flats that are Houses in Multiple Occupation, irrespective of the number of storeys, but, so far as concerns section 257, Houses in Multiple Occupation, limit the designation to those that are mainly or wholly tenanted, Including those with resident landlords. This second designation will come into force on the 31 January 2017 and will last for 4 years;
5. Agree to adopt the proposed fees and charges structure attached at Appendix 2; and
6. Agree to adopt the eligibility criteria for the new scheme as attached at Appendix 3.
Publication date: 19/10/2015
Date of decision: 15/10/2015
Decided at meeting: 15/10/2015 - City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019)
Effective from: 22/10/2015
- HMO Report PDF 110 KB View as DOCX (1) 177 KB
- Appendix 1 - Report on Consultation of Additional Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation 2015 PDF 2 MB
- Appendix 2 - HMO licensing Fees and Charges January 2016 PDF 17 KB View as DOCX (3) 17 KB
- Appendix 3 - Eligibility Criteria for HMO Licences January 2016 PDF 25 KB View as DOCX (4) 20 KB
- Appendix 4 - Risk Register for HMO Licensing Oct CEB 2015 PDF 15 KB
- Appendix 5 - EIA for HMO Licensing October CEB 2015 PDF 113 KB View as DOCX (6) 121 KB
- Appendices to Appendix 1 - Report on Consultation of HMOs PDF 3 MB
- HMOs exec response PDF 12 KB