Overall, 70 per cent of inspected properties in Liverpool have been found to be in breach of their licence condition claims Liverpool City Council since their now defunct selective licensing scheme was launched in 2015, uncovering, say the council, serious hazards such as fire risks, poor electrics and excess cold.
Liverpool City Council has carried out over 37,000 compliance actions, issued more than 2,500 legal and fixed financial penalty notices and prosecuted almost 250 landlords.
Liverpool alone has been responsible for 85 per cent of the national rise in prosecutions between 2012 and 2018 it proudly claims.
In practical terms, it means action has been taken to improve the lives of tenants — whether that is making electrics safe, installing working fire doors, tackling damp, making kitchens and bathrooms fit for purpose and preventing illegal evictions.
These claims are made in a press release bemoaning the fact that the government has not been convinced by the council that sushi scheme was either necessary or proportionate and has refused them permission to continue the city-wide scheme.
Says the press release: We recently had our application to continue the city-wide Landlord Licensing scheme for another five years turned down by the Government.
The scheme, introduced in April 2015, is designed to ensure property owners who rent out their homes to tenants are ‘fit and proper’. They are asked to declare convictions for dishonesty, violence or drug-related offences, or breaches of housing, landlord or tenant laws.
Licensed landlords’ properties must meet fire, electrical and gas safety standards and be in a good state of repair. Landlords must also be able to deal effectively with any complaints about their tenants.
Liverpool City Councils says wanted to continue with the citywide scheme due to the size and scale of the issue with the private rented sector in the city, which accounts for up to half of housing in some areas and covers 55,000 properties in total.
Answering the charge that Licensing is just a money making scheme for the council, it hit back saying:
No! All the money raised from landlord licensing is ploughed back into the cost of running the scheme. This includes:
- Employing staff who are out on the streets every day inspecting properties
- Administering the scheme
- Taking enforcement action against landlords
- Legal costs of taking landlords to court
- Carrying out urgent improvement work which is then charged to landlords
The cost, which was £412 for the first property and £360 for each additional home — works out at less than £7 per property per month over the five years of the scheme, says the Council.
Which of course represents an additional £7 (probably more) on each property’s monthly rent!
View the press release here