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Consultation open on replacing Liverpool’s Landlord Licensing Scheme

Wednesday 12 August 2020

Liverpool City Council is asking for views on their proposals for a new selective licensing scheme which would cover designated areas around the city equating to around 80 per cent of privately rented properties.

In 2015, Liverpool City Council announced its city-wide landlord licensing scheme, which saw three bodies across the industry, including ARLA Propertymark, co-regulating licence holders. Each co-regulator had an agreement with the council which finished at the end of the scheme on 31 March 2020.

In January 2020, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick turned down an application to keep the citywide scheme going from April 2020. He claimed the council did not provide robust evidence to show low housing demand across the city despite it being backed by Merseyside Police, Mersey Fire, and Rescue Service, and most residents who responded to the consultation.

Last month, July 2020, the council’s Cabinet approved a plan to start consultation on a new preferred scheme, that would only cover around 45,000 of the 55,000 properties currently covered.

The new licensing proposals would cover private rented properties in:

  • Central
  • Riverside
  • Greenbank
  • Kensington
  • Picton
  • Tuebrook & Stoneycroft
  • County
  • Anfield
  • St Michael’s
  • Princes Park
  • Kirkdale
  • Old Swan
  • Warbreck
  • Wavertree
  • Fazakerley
  • Everton

Housing demand and deprivation

This proposal is the council’s preferred option, but it is also consulting on two other separate designations, which would include slightly fewer wards. One, based on low housing demand and the other based on deprivation.

Whichever scheme is taken forward, the council will still investigate issues with properties outside of the designated landlord licensing area if it receives complaints and referrals.

The consultation

The three-month consultation will run until October with a submission made to the Government for ministerial consideration in December 2020. More details on the proposals along with the consultation can be found below.

The consultation 

WHAT PROPERTYMARK IS DOING

Propertymark will be responding to the consultation stressing that we are in favour of regulation, but it must be fair and enforceable. We do not believe that this type of licensing can ever be enforced fully enough to make a difference, but what happens instead, is that reputable landlords pay the fee and unscrupulous landlords operate under the radar avoiding detection. We are urging ARLA Propertymark members and landlords in Liverpool to respond with their thoughts too.

We will share our response once it has been submitted.