Since the April 2015 launch of its much publicised landlord license scheme Liverpool City Council (LCC) has issued licenses to just two per cent of its landlord applications in the citywide landlord licensing scheme.
This information became available after the National Landlords’ Association (NLA) perused a Freedom of Information request which showed only 648 of 39,100 licence applications had been dealt with by the Council.
This contrasts starkly with the London Borough of Newham which has managed to process seventy-four per cent (20000 of 27000 of licence applications in the first six months) and had worked with the 7000 landlords due to problems filling in the applications in the same time.
Newham’ licensing scheme has resulted in over 600 prosecutions, over 500 arrests, more than 100 rent repayment orders and 26 banning orders since launching in January 2013.
The Liverpool scheme, which is compulsory for all private landlords, was introduced to ensure a “level of quality assurance and proper practice” among landlords in the city. To be granted a licence landlords have to declare convictions and their properties must meet fire, electric and gas safety standards and be in a good state of repair.
The Liverpool licence costs landlords £400 for a first property and £350 for every additional property but those landlords who are members of an accreditation scheme CLASS or members of the Council’s co-regulation partner organisations receive a 50% discount.
Carolyn Uphill, Chairman of the NLA, said:
“These findings show that Liverpool City Council can’t cope with this scheme, which is precisely what we said would happen when they proposed it almost two years ago.
“Quite frankly it’s embarrassing. If the Council can’t process applications or inspect properties, then how can it improve property standards for tenants?
“At this rate, it will take 13 years to inspect the City’s private rented housing, and 38 years to license them all, so the scheme’s co-regulation partners have got their work cut out.
“The NLA has opposed this scheme from the very start. We do not regulate our members, so it would be inappropriate for us to play any part in a scheme that effectively polices landlords on the Council’s behalf.”
Liverpool processes only 2% of license applications – https://t.co/603F1OtzRL
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) February 12, 2016