Secretary of State confirms city-wide licensing designations

18 May 2022

Housing, Licensing

The Secretary of State has recently confirmed city-wide selective licensing designations in Oxford – here – under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”). When the designations come into force on 1 September 2022 any Part 3 house – essentially any self-contained flat, maisonette or house that is let in Oxford – will require a licence from Oxford City Council unless it is a house in multiple occupation (“HMO”) to which Part 2 of the 2004 Act applies or is otherwise excepted. Any person managing or controlling a Part 3 house without a licence will commit an offence under section 95 of the 2004 Act for which – subject to any statutory defence – they may be prosecuted and fined or penalised by the Council.

Oxford City Council is one of very few local housing authorities who, in recent years, have applied successfully for ministerial confirmation of district-wide selective licensing designations.

Dean Underwood advised and assisted the Council throughout the process of proposal, consultation and confirmation. He adds Oxford City Council to the long list of local housing authorities nationwide – including Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council, Liverpool City Council, Nottingham City Council, and Waltham Forest London Borough Council – that he has guided successfully through the process in recent years.

Dean has a broad public, local government and housing law practice and has been involved in some of the leading authorities on selective and additional HMO licensing, including R (Mohamed) v Waltham Forest LBC [2020] EWHC 1083 (Admin); [2020] 1 WLR 2929 and Waltham Forest LBC v Marshall [2020] UKUT 35 (LC); [2020] 1 WLR 3187. He advises and represents local housing authorities and landlords nationwide at all levels of court and tribunal. Dean also provides bespoke training for those administering or affected by 2004 Act licensing designations, tailored to the needs of local housing authorities and landlords respectively.

If you would like to instruct Dean in a licensing matter or discuss options for specialist training for your council or client, please contact his clerk Dan Gatt on