Landlords invited to air views on licensing proposals

Liverpool’s landlords are being given the chance to have their say on proposals to introduce a citywide licensing scheme for private rented properties.

St George’s Hall will host special landlord events in June, as part of the 12-week consultation on the licensing plans, which aim to improve the quality of Liverpool’s private rented sector.

It will give landlords the opportunity to find out more about the plans, ask questions and have their say. All feedback will be considered by the city council before it makes a decision later this year on whether and how to introduce the licensing scheme.

The events are being facilitated by independent research company Opinion Research Services (ORS), which has been commissioned by the city council to carry out the consultation.

They will take place at in the Reid Room at St George’s Hall on:

• Monday 2nd June, 1.30pm-4pm; and 6.30pm-9pm
• Wednesday 4th June, 1.30pm-4pm

Places are likely to fill up quickly, so landlords who wish to attend should register as soon as possible, by calling 01792 824741 or emailing liverpool.licensing@ors.org.uk.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “These are really important proposals for the future of our private rented sector, so it’s crucial that we take on-board as many views as possible before reaching a final decision.

“We want to make sure everyone has the chance to get involved in the discussions, and these events give us the opportunity to meet with landlords, explain to them why we are proposing a licensing scheme and listen to what they have to say.

“We think that a licensing scheme will bring huge benefits to Liverpool, but we need to know what everyone thinks. If you are a landlord in the city, this is your chance to talk to us, be part of the consultation and make sure your views are heard.”

As part of the 12-week consultation, which runs until 16th June, the city’s landlords, tenants, residents, businesses and other organisations are being invited to complete an on-line questionnaire at www.liverpool.gov.uk/selectivelicensing. People can read about the proposals in full and respond to questions around a range of issues, including whether they are in favour of the plans, the license conditions and fee structure.

As well as the questionnaire and landlords events, ORS is co-ordinating public forums, drop-in sessions and other engagement work, across the city, during the 12-week period.

People can also write to – ‘Liverpool Selective Licensing Consultation, Opinion Research Services, The Strand, Swansea, SA1 1AF’ – to leave written feedback or request a printed copy of the questionnaire (freepost envelopes are available); and can leave comments by calling 01792 824 741 or e-mailing Liverpool.licensing@ors.org.uk

 

About landlords licensing

• Liverpool’s proposals for a citywide licensing scheme would mean that all landlords who privately rent properties in the city would require a licence for each of their rented properties. The Council would need to determine that the proposed licence holder is a ‘fit and proper’ person to manage their properties.

• The plans aim to improve social and economic conditions in the city’s neighbourhoods, drive up standards of tenancy management and isolate poor landlords and make them easier to identify. They aim to secure a consistent level of responsible property management, and promote an understanding among residents about what they can reasonably expect from their landlord.

• The plans also aim to help empower tenants – who currently have no way of knowing the quality of their prospective landlord – and help them make informed choices, promote greater confidence in the rental market and help improve demand.

• Proposals for the licensing scheme were first considered at the end of 2012, and since then, the city council has been collating evidence from a wide range of internal and external sources to produce a comprehensive business case, paving the way to the start of the formal consultation.

• The results of the consultation will then be considered by the Council before it makes a decision on whether and how to introduce selective licensing. If a decision is made to introduce a licensing scheme, it is expected it will come into force in 2015.