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Council hits new heights to catch dozens of rogue landlords

A council used a plane with thermal imaging to catch unscrupulous landlords that allowed tenants to live in substandard conditions. 

Several people were found to be living in appalling conditions, including some residing in sheds, thanks to the aerial thermal imaging.

A total of 21 such sheds were discovered and closed by Oxford City Council and 31 enforcement notices served on landlords in the past 18 months, supported by a £274,942 government grant.


Inspections found a number of buildings with overcrowded conditions, fire safety problems, electrical hazards and structures without heating, hot water and basic sanitary provisions.

The inspections also revealed more than 70 privately-rented homes needing inspection and a number of unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) which have been referred to the HMO enforcement team to investigate

Cllr Linda Smith, cabinet member for housing, said: “Oxford has the highest proportion of private rented homes in the country and every private tenant should have a decent roof over their head.

“We work proactively to drive up standards in private rented housing and we won’t tolerate rogue landlords exploiting tenants by providing substandard and dangerous housing – whether this is a bed in a shed, a house in multiple occupation or a family home.

“Conditions in some of these beds in sheds are appalling and we won’t accept this.”

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  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Good, we need to eradicate these from the PRS, But no details whatsoever ?

  • Daniela Provvedi

    I don't mind if the Council comes to check my properties - there are no sheds with people living in my garden and there's no overcrowding in my properties.
    Nothing to lose, nothing to hide!
    IF (a big IF) there are Landlords who do the above, then they deserve to be prosecuted, as they're giving us a bad name.

  • icon
    • 02 September 2019 12:19 PM

    We all know where the beds in sheds are.
    Funnily enough they are never in areas with a very small non-white population!!!
    It is all talk from councils .
    They know where the beds in sheds are but refuse to do anything about the issue for fear of losing Labour voters.
    Rogue LL are a scourge on the PRS and keep rents a lot lower than they would otherwise be if there was a properly enforced regulatory regime.
    Good LL want rogue LL eradicated.
    They are unfair competition for good LL.

  • icon

    Let's name it for what it is it's not attack upon landlords but an attack on poor people. Whenever they close these properties down there do not rehouse the tenants as they have no duty to do so they just displace them. Where do they go when they cannot afford more but to another shed. Oxford do not want people like that in their area. Some people call it ethnic cleansing or social redistribution .
    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO Daddy


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