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Licensing scheme for PRS landlords to launch in Liverpool

In a bid to raise standards, Liverpool City Council are proposing a landlord licence for each property let in Liverpool

Liverpool City Council is set to introduce a licensing scheme for the city’s 50,000 private rented properties in a bid to raise standards.

It follows a three month consultation over the proposal and would mean all landlords who privately rent properties in the city would require a licence for each property.

If approved by the cabinet at a meeting on 10 October, the scheme will be introduced from April.

The council will need to determine that the proposed licence holder is a ‘fit and proper’ person to manage their properties, including having regard to any convictions for dishonesty, violence, drugs or contraventions of housing or landlord/tenant laws.

Landlords will also have to meet conditions around fire, electric and gas safety, rectify disrepair issues, tackle pest infestations, keep the exterior of the property in a good state of repair and deal with complaints about anti-social behaviour caused by tenants. 

More than 2,000 responses were received from landlords, tenants, residents and stakeholders during consultation. Residents were in favour of the scheme, with 89% of those who responded to a telephone survey and 59% of those who took part in an online questionnaire backing the proposals.

However more than 80% of letting agents, landlords and landlords’ forums opposed the scheme.

Councillor Ann O’Byrne, Liverpool City Council’s assistant mayor and cabinet member for housing, said: ‘We all know someone with a horror story to tell about a bad landlord. This scheme is about giving tenants some expectation of their rights, and the city council the power to tackle breaches.

‘Liverpool has a growing number of privately rented properties and the sector is vital in meeting the city’s housing needs, so it is important that what is on offer is of high quality.

‘Although many landlords operate professionally, we are concerned about a number of landlords who rent properties which fail to meet satisfactory standards of tenancy and property management.

‘This has a negative impact on the health and welfare of local communities and on a housing market that is already vulnerable in terms of vacant properties, low house prices and depressed rental values.’

No final decision has been made about the cost to landlords, but the amount is expected to be less than £2 per week per property.

Discussions are also underway with Residential Landlords Association, the National Landlords Association and a group of lettings agents about a co-regulation model whereby accredited landlords are deemed to comply and would pay a reduced fee.

As an agent we hear stories from tenants who have had trouble with there previous landlord, but this should not mean licenses should be put in place to every landlord, surely they should put the license in place for landlords who are managing their properties themselves not through an agent. If tenants have had previous bad experiences or have heard of bad experiences whilst renting a property, they should aim to rent a property that is managed through the an agent and not by the landlord

If you need advise on how to rent properties safely and securely contact Belvoir Liverpool West Derby 0151 256 0880

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