This Friday (March 18) sees applications open for the new Liverpool City Council landlord licensing scheme with discounts on offer for those who sign up early. Tony McDonough reports
Landlords in large areas of Liverpool will be able to sign up for the new landlord licensing scheme from this Friday (March 18).
In December 2021 the council secured approval from the Government to set up a new scheme. There was dismay at Liverpool City Council when its previous licensing scheme, which ran from 2015 to 2020, was cancelled by the Government.
Its new scheme, which runs until April 2027, covers around 80% of rented residential properties in Liverpool. Targeting areas with housing in poor condition, the scheme will cover 16 wards where at least one in five homes is owned by a private landlord.
Around 45,000 of the 55,000 properties in the original city-wide scheme are covered. It gives the council additional powers to drive up standards and keep vulnerable tenants safe, such as tackling fire and electrical safety hazards, excess cold and damp.
The wards included are: Central, Riverside, Greenbank, Kensington, Picton, Tuebrook & Stoneycroft, County, Anfield, St Michael’s, Princes Park, Kirkdale, Old Swan, Warbreck, Wavertree, Fazakerley and Everton.
Landlords signing up before the end of June 2022 will benefit from an early bird discount which will take the total cost of a five year licence down to £380 per property, rather than £550.
This discount will be extended to landlords who are new to the rental market if they apply for a licence before the property is tenanted, or for those who buy a property with a tenant in situ within 14 days of the completion of purchase. A number of other discounts will also be in place:
- £50 – for each property with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of C or above.
- £50 – for each property licenced by the same licence holder in the same block of flats.
- £30 – for each property if the licence holder has an active membership of a professional body related to housing.
There will be no charge for landlords offering permanent accommodation to meet homelessness duties, providing the property meets licence standards. Applications are made online and payment – which covers the five years of the scheme – is in two parts:
- The first payment is for the administration needed to process and issue licence applications, including checks to make sure a licence holder is fit and proper. Applicants will also need to attach supporting documents such as a valid gas safety certificate.
- The second payment will be requested once the licence has been deemed suitable to be granted and leads to checks for compliance and the enforcement of licence conditions.
A list of fees and charges is at https://liverpool.gov.uk/landlordlicensing and landlords can start the application process on this page from Friday, March 18. Landlord Licensing is separate to HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupation) licensing, which is already mandatory and covers over 2,600 properties.
Cabinet Member for Strategic Development and Housing, Cllr Sarah Doyle, said: “The launch of our new landlord licensing scheme is a major step forward in giving us the tools to improve our neighbourhoods.
“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. Poor electrical and fire safety standards are a danger to life and damp and anti-social behaviour contribute to poor health and mental wellbeing.”