Liverpool houses

Liverpool Council Landlord Licensing Scheme approved by government

The government has approved a comprehensive Landlord Licensing Scheme by Liverpool City Council, which will cover around 80% of privately rented properties in the city.

The scheme is based on poor property conditions, targeting 16 wards in the city where at least one in five homes is owned by a private landlord.

Around 45,000 of the 55,000 properties in the original citywide scheme, which ran from 2015-2020, are covered.

This will give the council additional powers to drive up standards and keep vulnerable tenants safe, such as by tackling fire and electrical safety hazards, excess cold and damp.

The wards included are: Anfield, Central, County, Everton, Fazakerley, Greenbank, Kensington, Kirkdale, Old Swan, Picton, Princes Park, Riverside, St Michael’s, Tuebrook and Stoneycroft, Warbreck and Wavertree respectively.

A consultation carried out before the application was submitted in January found tenants, residents and partners were generally supportive of the proposal, with landlords and agents against.

The new application follows the rejection by the government in January 2019 of a proposal for a citywide scheme, which was based on low housing demand.  

An evaluation of the 2015-2020 citywide Licensing Scheme found:

  • Over 34,000 inspections of licensed properties had been completed, which identified 65% of properties were not fully compliant on the first visit.
  • Identification of 4,350 cases of the most serious category 1 and 2 hazards, including disrepair and excess cold, affecting the health and wellbeing of residents.
  • Issuing of more than 2,500 legal notices, 169 formal cautions and 197 written warnings.
  • More than 300 successful landlord offence prosecutions and issuing of 87 civil penalties.

The council said the scheme is pivotal to the success of the City Plan, which commits partners to making sure all residents live in safe, inclusive and welcoming neighbourhoods.

The scheme will be introduced from April 2022 and will run for five years, with more details on the fee for landlords to be revealed in the near future.

Commenting, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Development and Economy, Councillor Sarah Doyle said:

“This is brilliant news for tenants living in poor housing conditions.

“Too many vulnerable people in our city are in poor housing conditions, paying rent to a landlord who doesn’t carry out essential maintenance to keep them warm and safe.

“The Landlord Licensing Scheme will give us regulation of private rented houses so that we can take action when concerns are raised.

“There is a raft of evidence which shows that council intervention forced bad landlords into taking action to improve their properties.

“Poor electrical and fire safety standards, as well as damp and anti-social behaviour, contribute to poor health and mental wellbeing.”

The authority’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Abdul Qadir added:

“Our new scheme will be one of the largest in the country, covering the vast majority of properties under the original programme, ensuring landlords meet their obligations, such as putting in smoke detectors and fire doors as required by law.

“The council will make no profit from the scheme. Every single pound we get from landlords will be ringfenced, paying for our team to be out on the streets every day inspecting homes, chasing disrepair.

“We are determined to take the strongest action against those landlords who refuse to manage and keep their properties safe.”

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