• Landlord Licensing

Council could consult on further five-year Landlord Licensing scheme

Liverpool City Council could begin a consultation on running its Landlord Licensing scheme for a further five years.

The initiative was first launched in April 2015 to with an aim of driving up standards in the private rental sector, and requires property owners to hold a licence for each of their rental homes.

A report to be considered by cabinet members on Friday (8 February) recommends the local authority to start a consultation on whether to continue the scheme from 2020-2025.

If approved, a further report later in the year will prompt the council to decide on the size and scope of a further scheme.

If the future initiative covers more than 20% of the city it will need to be approved by the Secretary of State subject to the local authority having sufficient evidence that it’s required.

According to Liverpool City Council, more than 48,500 licences have been granted since 2015 and almost 20,000 compliance checks have been carried out, with 70% or inspected properties having issues that needed tackling such as electricity and heating related health and safety hazards.

More than 2,000 legal notices are said to have been issued, with 89 fixed penalty notices and 154 successfully prosecuted landlords.

In addition, 11 cases have been brought for health and safety and action taken against 29 unlicensed HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation).

The Landlord Licensing team has worked alongside street scene staff, Merseyside Police, Mersey Fire and Rescue Service and other partners to identify unlicensed properties and associated issues during targeted enforcement in around a dozen areas of the city.

On Wednesday 6 February 36 properties on Lodge Lane in Toxteth will be inspected when the next enforcement takes place.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson says: “Landlord Licensing has given us a foot in the door at private rented properties across the city to make sure that they are up to standard and, if not, take action to make sure they are.

“Our team have found shocking examples of landlords happy to take rent off their tenants despite providing them with substandard accommodation, often with issues around heating, damp and poor electrics.

“We’ve made huge strides in less than four years and led the way nationally in tackling poor housing conditions, but we believe we need to continue with the scheme beyond 2020 to continue making a difference.

“We believe we have a really strong case and can prove to Government why they need to allow us to continue with a city-wide programme.

“It is important to note there are good landlords out there and we welcome the support we have had from landlord bodies – a well-managed private rented sector helps us focus resources on non-compliant and criminal landlords.”

About Author: Natasha Young

Natasha Young is our Editor. She can be contacted by email natasha@movepublishing.co.uk or by phone on 0151 709 3871.