Oxford landlords defy home licence plan

A group of landlords and letting agents are taking Oxford City Council to court over its plan to force multiple occupancy houses to have licences.

From next month any home in Oxford where three or more unrelated people live must have a licence, paid for by the landlord after an inspection.

The council believes it will improve conditions for tenants.

But landlords say the way the scheme being introduced is illegal and the council stands to unfairly profit.

They say they may not be be able to successfully apply for licences as the council will be carrying out their inspections over a number of years.

The landlords have now called for a judicial review at the High Court.

'Rowdy behaviour'

Mark Crampton Smith, of College and County Letting and Property Management in Oxford, is part of the group challenging the new rules.

He said the licence will also not solve problems identified by residents who live in parts of Oxford where there are large numbers of shared homes.

He said: "It doesn't create a power for landlords to do anything about rowdy behaviour. Landlords don't have a power to do anything about people having street parties."

Joe McManners, of Oxford City Council, said the new system would allow more control of shared houses.

He added: "We believe that additional licensing will provide us with those extra powers that we need and that it will have a really positive impact."

The council said it was considering the queries it had received about the new rules.

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