LANDLORDS will be asked their opinions about plans for a register of all privately rented houses in Oxford.

In January, Oxford City Council announced it wanted to bring in a scheme which would mean that all private landlords in the city would need to register with the city council.

Now, throughout September, the council will be running a consultation, asking landlords, renters and charities about their opinions on this proposal.

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The council is also hoping to extend a similar existing scheme it operates until 2026, under which houses of multiple occupation, also known as HMOs are registered.

Alex Hollingsworth, the council's cabinet member responsible for planning and housing delivery, said: “While many private landlords are good and responsible landlords, unfortunately we know that this isn’t true in all cases.

Oxford Mail:

Alex Hollingsworth

"Our research indicates that around a fifth of homes in the private rented sector have a serious hazard. We want to deliver on our plans to protect tenants, drive up standards and crack down on rogue landlords, which is why we are looking to extend licensing from HMOs to cover all private rented homes."

He added: “Consultation is the first step in this process, and this will be carried out independently on our behalf by ORS. Housing is a serious issue in Oxford and we want to capture and reflect the views of all stakeholders before taking further action to improve our private rented sector."

READ AGAIN about the council's initial proposals to register all the city's private landlords

Alongside landlords and tenants, other people asked to take part in the consultation are industry associations, residents and resident’s groups, private tenants, third sector organisations, advice agencies, registered housing providers, councillors, businesses and neighbouring councils.

According to the city council, an estimated 49 per cent of housing stock in Oxford is now in the private rented sector.

The Government lets councils introduce licensing schemes for landlords when more than 20 per cent of homes in their given areas are in the private rented sector.

But if Oxford City Council is to introduce this register, it first has to hold a consultation with the people it will affect that demonstrates they will support it.

The Government then has to sign it off.

Oxford Mail:

A 'room with a view' at a rented home found wanting in Oxford. Picture: Oxford City Council

During a recent review of housing, the council found that a fifth of the 30,000 homes in Oxford’s private rented sector have a serious housing hazard.

As part of keeping an eye on the good and bad landlords of the city, the council has previously spoken about using maps and a database to find problem hotspots.

Before a consultation can be launched, city councillors are set to discuss it.

The council's housing and homelessness panel will consider the proposals next Thursday (September 3) before senior councillors in the cabinet sign it off on September 9.

If agreed, a 12 week public consultation will begin on September 10.