Three time losing councilors are taking on landlords and letting agents again in a bid to limit the number of shared homes.
Oxford City Council is to make sure houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) only make up 20% of any 100 metres of a residential street.
The council has also given notice in a new corporate plan that tighter controls on shared houses are on the way - including:
• More enforcement checks on existing shared homes
• Attempts to encourage landlords to join an accreditation scheme
• Forcing landlords to apply for planning permission to convert a family home to a shared letting house
The proposals are part of Oxford’s blitz on student landlords - despite the failure of every other proposal they have tried to implement this year.
“Planning policy should strike a balance between flexible, affordable accommodation and the need to sustain a balanced and established community,” said a council spokesman.
“Our preferred option puts forward a threshold for the proportion of properties within a particular segment of street that may become HMOs.
“The council considers that allowing the number of HMOs to exceed this threshold would represent a potential over-concentration.”
Oxford has 5,000 HMOs, with high numbers in neighborhoods around Headington and East Oxford.
Deputy council leader Ed Turner said he expected the number of shared houses in some neighborhoods would drop as a result of the policy.
Oxford is at the forefront of councils battling to control shared house developments.
This year, the council has had to back down on introducing tough licensing and put forward a watered down strategy instead after threats of a legal challenge from landlords and letting agents.
The council has also lost a judicial review against the government in the High Court in a bid to overturn decisions by Housing Minister Grant Shapps to relax HMO planning policy.
The council has also admitted defeat in a planning clause aimed at controlling student parking after the DVLA backed out amid claims of data protection and human rights breaches.
Over the last 20 years, AFS has been the home of student accommodation.
Throughout this period we have always offered the full range of student
accommodation and featured over 200,000 student houses on the site in every
University City in the UK.
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