Liverpool Landlord Licencing to begin again

In certain areas throughout England and Wales, private landlords require licences to operate residential rental properties which are not Houses in Multiple Occupation. This is known as Selective Licensing and arises from the Housing Act 2004. Liverpool City Council previously ran a blanket selective landlord licencing scheme across any private residential property let within their authority area from 2015 to 2020. During those five years, there were 34,000 inspections of licenced properties which led to issuing 2,500 legal notices and 300 landlord offence prosecutions.  

The application by Liverpool City Council to Central Government to extend the licensing scheme from 2020 was not initially approved, seemingly due to the “blanket” nature applying to all residential rental properties. 

From 1st April 2022 until 31st March 2027, Liverpool City Council will again require licences for rental properties in 16 wards under Section 80 of the Housing Act 2004. Landlords or agents managing or in control of the relevant property, who want a licence in an area where selective licencing operates, must carry out safety checks on their properties. They must register their details with the council and the council can carry out inspections, raise issues and enforce action and penalties if necessary. The new scheme will cover around 80% of all rented accommodation in those parts of the city covered by Liverpool City Council.  

Councils charge a licence fee which is an added expense that Landlords will need to consider. The selective licencing will apply to any building, house, maisonette or flat. An exception will apply if the building is an HMO, and is therefore required to be licenced under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004.  

The council has begun consultation on a new scheme covering 16 wards in the city. The wards would include Central, Riverside, Greenbank, Kensington & Fairfield, Picton, Tuebrook & Stoneycroft, County, Anfield, St Michael’s, Princes Park, Kirkdale, Old Swan, Warbreck, Wavertree, Fazakerley and Everton. 

Costs of the scheme are yet to be confirmed by Liverpool City Council. 

If a residential property is let without a Selective Licence, private landlords and agents can face grave consequences such as rent repayment orders, fines and difficulties recovering possession of the property at the end of the fixed term tenancy. 

For more information and legal advice on licencing please contact us. 

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