All private landlords in Liverpool will have to licence the 50,000 rental homes they own if a proposed new registration gets the go ahead.
Liverpool City Council intends to launch the registration scheme later in 2013 – pre-empting the results of a 12-week consultation that starts at the end of January.
The estimated 50,000 private rented properties comes from council research. Failing to register if the scheme gets the green light could mean fines of up to £20,000 for landlords.
Liverpool already runs a licensing scheme for around 1,250 shared houses in multiple occupation, but wants to extend control over all private rented homes.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “It’s vital that we drive up the quality of our private rented properties. Many areas which suffer blight in the city are characterised by large numbers of poorly managed private rented properties, leading to problems such as anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.
“The proposed licensing scheme would recognise the majority of good landlords who manage their properties properly, while enabling us to deal with the minority whose letting and management practices are poor.
“Licensing would create a minimum standard for the private rented sector, with landlords needing to show that they have adequate systems in place for their tenants – for example, reporting repairs and defects..
“We believe this scheme would be really beneficial for the city, but we will be consulting closely with landlords, tenants, residents and other stakeholders over the coming months, to make sure their views are fully taken on-board.”
Newham, London, is the first council to demand all private landlords register their rental properties.
The scheme started on January 1, 2013, and aims to cover around 35,000 private rented properties.
Oxford City Council has had a city-wide licensing scheme since 2012 for HMOs with three or more unrelated tenants sharing.