In response to the results of the City Council’s public consultation, the additional licensing for HMOs which has been in force since 2011 will continue until 2021. The official notice can be downloaded here HMO Public Notice 2015. You can read more about this on the Council’s website here.
A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is any house or flat that is occupied by three or more people who form more than one household.
HMOs are a major concern in Oxford and in our area. According to government statistics Oxford has the 14th highest number of HMOs in England and Wales. Only the large metropolitan and unitary authorities and some London Boroughs contain more.
They form an unusually high percentage of houses in the city. An estimated 1 in 5 of the resident population live in an HMO. The House Condition Survey of 2005 reported that HMOs provided the poorest homes in the city and that 70% were unsafe. High demand for properties means that some landlords can offer these lower quality properties but still be confident of finding tenants.
The City Council’s additional licensing is intended to ensure that:
- the landlord of an HMO is a fit and proper person (or employs a manager who is)
- each HMO is suitable for occupation by the number of people allowed under the licence (overcrowding is eliminated)
- the standard of management of the HMO is acceptable
- vulnerable tenants are protected
- high-risk HMOs can be identified and targeted for improvement
Licensing of HMOs aims to:
- protect the health, safety and welfare of all occupiers
- help integrate HMOs into neighbourhoods
- help in the reduction of anti-social behaviour
- promote environmental goals
- Improve the quality of the HMO housing rental stock
DRARA is actively engaged in monitoring the number of and management of HMOs in our area. Please contact DRARA if you are have any concerns about an HMO, whether as a tenant, a neighbour or indeed a landlord.