Liverpool Council is jubilant that its selective licensing scheme finally has the green light by the Secretary of State following a protracted battle with the government.

One of the largest in the country, about 80% of the city’s private rented properties in 16 wards will be covered, including 45,000 of the 55,000 properties in the original city-wide scheme which ran from 2015-2020.

In 2019, former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick thwarted the council’s previous attempt to renew the scheme until 2025, so instead of launching a judicial review it came up with a new scaled-down bid.

An evaluation of the previous scheme found that it had identified 4,350 cases of the most serious category 1 and 2 hazards, issued more than 2,500 legal notices, 169 formal cautions and 197 written warnings, and had resulted in 300 successful landlord prosecutions and 87 civil penalties.

A consultation earlier this year found tenants were generally supportive of the proposal, with landlords and letting agents against it.

No connection

An NRLA spokesman says there is no clear connection between licensing schemes and levels of enforcement.

 “All that happens is that responsible landlords make themselves known whilst the criminals continue to operate under the radar.”

He adds: “The council should instead make better use of the data already available such as that from the Land Registry and HMRC to find and root out altogether those landlords who will never willingly make themselves known.”

abdul quadir liverpool selective licensing

Liverpool’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, councillor Abdul Qadir (pictured), says: “The council will make no profit from the scheme.

“Every single pound we get from landlords will be ring-fenced, paying for our team to be out on the streets every day inspecting homes, chasing disrepair.”

The council is also trumpeting the government’s approval on its website blog where it explains there have been more than 8,400 complaints about the Liverpool’s PRS since April 2020.

It adds: “It is an understatement to say we have missed our proactive powers, our targeted enforcement action and working with landlords to bring properties back into a safe and well managed state.

“We can now look forward to renewing and strengthening our partnership approach with colleagues in planning and building control, environmental health, social services and other areas to drive forward the much-needed changes in our neighbourhoods.”

The scheme launches in April and will run for five years covering Central, Riverside, Greenbank, Kensington, Picton, Tuebrook & Stoneycroft, County, Anfield, St Michael’s, Princes Park, Kirkdale, Old Swan, Warbreck, Wavertree, Fazakerley and Everton.

Liverpool also introduced an Article 4 direction in March to clamp down on any HMO conversions.

4 COMMENTS

  1. “Every single pound we get from landlords will be ring-fenced, paying for our team to be out on the streets every day inspecting homes, chasing disrepair.”

    SL is just a way for Councils to fund their housing depts – instead of the money coming from their budget it is paid for by rent rises on tenants, most of whom will get no bang for their buck!

  2. Incredible! The brass necks of these councils who set themselves up as regulators of private landlords. A major ITV investigation recently showed that several London local authorities allow their tenanted properties to fall into appalling disrepair and THEIR tenants sometimes existing in living hell. I wonder what condition Liverpool Council property is in?

  3. “All that happens is that responsible landlords make themselves known whilst the criminals continue to operate under the radar.”…. Err, We’ve been banging that drum since day dot. £1250 for someone to confirm that you qualify for a license after seeing a set of in date safety certs and not one visit. Too many office parties!

    The council is also trumpeting the government’s approval on its website blog where it explains there have been more than 8,400 complaints about the Liverpool’s PRS since April 2020…..Statistics can be used to paint a picture, So did the 8400 complaints come from tenants covered by the selective licensing scheme…Smoke and mirrors all day long

  4. I can see LL just increasing rents to cover the SL costs.

    No extra PROFIT though!

    S24 LL will need to increase rents by more than the SL costs.

    Or as most of Liverpool stock is below EPC C status best LL in SL areas just sell up!

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