OXFORD CITY COUNCIL: RESULTS OF LANDLORD SURVEY

 On the 28 January 2013,  the Head of Environmental Services presented Oxford City Council’s Value and Performance Scrutiny Committee with a report of the results of a survey of landlords in the city.

The aim of the survey had been to monitor the impact of Oxford's HMO Licensing Scheme. Although the sample size was smaller than had been originally hoped for (30 landlords took part in a 10-minute telephone survey) useful information was gathered under a number of different headings, e.g. knowledge of HMO licensing and Oxford's Article 4 Direction on HMOs, rent levels, availability of HMOs, impact of HMO licensing.

The report concluded that it was difficult to draw definitive conclusions from the survey because of the small sample size, and because it had been conducted during only the first full year of the Licensing Scheme. In addition, the landlords surveyed were only those know to the Council through HMO Licensing.

However, the results did point to some loss of HMOs from the market (whilst the rental market is continuing to grow), and also that the planning restrictions introduced by the Article 4 Direction was impacting on landlords' abilities to create new HMOs.

The report also concluded that the link suggested by landlords between HMO licensing and higher rents has not been established clearly because market conditions continue to be the main drivers for increasing rents.