Decision details

Decision details

Private Sector Housing Policy (post-consultation)

Decision Maker: City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019), Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The policy will set out the future priorities and areas of intervention in the private rented and owner occupied residential sectors in Oxford and will clarify the regulatory approach to be taken by the Council.


The policy will be considered at the following meetings:

·         CEB – February 2016 for pre-consultation

·         CEB – July 2016 post-consultation


The Head of Planning and Regulatory Services submitted a report which detailed the results from the consultation exercise carried out for the draft Private Sector Housing Policy 2016-2019 and sought approval of the policy. The policy sets out the present baseline conditions of Oxford’s private rented sector housing and how Council services have been working to improve those conditions. It then sets out how the Council will address the complex issues that affect the sector from 2016-2019.


 Cllr Hollingsworth Board Member for Planning and Regulatory Services presented the report.   He explained that the policy set out the potential extension of a licensing scheme. But reiterated that there are many elements to overcome first ie legal matters, regulations, statement of intent and resource implications before the Council could consider an extension. Any future licensing scheme might be sector focus rather than a blanket approach.


Cllr Turner pointed out the issues with the bottom end of the private rental sector where tenants don’t have the option to pick and choose their homes as there are so few available. 


The Environmental Health Services Manager said that the consultation plan was broadly similar to the Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licencing scheme’s one.  The poor response reflected the Council’s budget not that officers did not try hard to get the public to engage.


Cllr Brown said that many tenants were scared of raising housing issues for fear of being issued an eviction notice. The Council does not want to see the private rental sector shrink just better homes and landlords.


Cllr Sinclair asked whether there had been an increase in the rental sector in neighbouring authorities due to the City’s HMO licencing scheme.


The Environmental Health Services Manager said he had asked the district councils whether they had seen a change and had found it surprising that the councils had reported no significant increase in the private rental market.


The City Executive Board resolves to:


1.    CONSIDER the report of the consultation on the Private Sector Housing Policy 2016-2019 and NOTE the findings attached at Appendix 2;


2.    APPROVE the Private Sector Housing Policy 2016 – 2019 attached at Appendix 1.



Report author: Michael Browning

Publication date: 26/08/2016

Date of decision: 14/07/2016

Decided at meeting: 14/07/2016 - City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019)

Effective from: 21/07/2016

Accompanying Documents: