As of 1st September 2022 all private rented homes in Oxford City will need a licence. The Government has approved Oxford City Council’s selective licensing scheme which is aimed at addressing poor conditions in privately rented property making up nearly half (49.3%1) of all Oxford homes. There is already significant legislation in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of tenants to include, but not limited to, Gas Safety Regulation, Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, Electrical Safety Standards as well as formal requirements to provide certain legislative documentation at the start of a tenancy.
The Council has confirmed that a five year licence will incur a fee of £480 and discounts will be available to those early bird landlords who apply within 3 months of 1st September 2022 and to those who are accredited or use an accredited agent, such as Finders Keepers. Whilst the fee is discounted to £400 for the ‘early bird’ landlords, they cannot as yet apply for a licence. Landlords can, however, register to be notified of when the Council’s application system becomes live.
The Council say that they will require the necessary safety certificates (along with information relating to the licence holder and property) at the point of application, rather than inspecting properties before issuing a licence. Their focus is to hone in on those landlords (and agents) with a poor track record when it comes to compliance. Only a sample of properties will be inspected where the landlord or agent is accredited.
Penalties are hefty for those landlords who try to evade the new legislation with the potential to face prosecution with an unlimited fine and fixed penalty from the Council of up to £30,000. On top of this, without a licence the landlord will not be able to serve a section 21 notice to evict the tenant.
Finders Keepers has always championed high property standards and have been synonymous with providing quality rental accommodation to the discerning Oxfordshire market. We pride ourselves in offering the best property management available with a clear focus on ensuring compliance and standards are upheld. 95% of our staff are qualified and accredited with ARLA Propertymark (the Association of Residential Letting Agents) and we are regulated by The Property Ombudsman.
Whilst this new licensing scheme may feel like ‘yet another’ addition to the costs associated with being a landlord in Oxfordshire, it is our firm view that by doing things properly – by offering quality property and by securing good reliable tenants – these increasing costs can be mitigated through tenancy longevity, professional management and minimal void periods. If you are a landlord (or thinking of becoming one) and want some advice on how to ensure your buy-to-let investment works best for you please get in touch with the team at Finders Keepers.
01865 311011 | email@example.com
Published April 2022
If you are a Landlord with a property in Oxford city and wish to find out more about Selective Licencing then please call 01865 311011.