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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.

New HMO licence requirements in Oxford

On 22/7/10 Oxford City Council announced that all HMOs in Oxford will require an HMO ‘additional licence’ from 25/10/10 or else face a fine up to £20,000. 

 This is big news.


  • Only properties with 3+ storeys and 5+ inhabitants need a licence
  • The mandatory licence involves (in our experience) 4-8 hours of form-filling and paperwork, property enhancements in terms of fire prevention and associated safety items, and a cost of £1,200 for a five year licence  

 We have just spoken with the City Council and they have said:

  • “The cost and requirements will be announced by mid-August”
  • “All licences will be 1 year not 5 year. We are aiming for ‘light-touch’ renewal but we do not know of what form”
  • “It makes sense that a 2 bedroom, 2 storey HMO faces less compliance in terms of property enhancements than a 5 bedroom, 3 storey HMO but this detail is to be filled in”

 So we have to wait until the details are announced

While the aim of improving the quality of property to rent in Oxford is admirable, such a blanket policy on all HMOs is, in our view, too draconian and now thousands of landlords face a lot of hassle, extra costs and potentially huge penalties.

However we are here to guide all our clients through it.

We’ll find the most efficient pathway through the legislation once more detail comes through.