One month left for private landlords to benefit from Landlord Licensing early bird discount
There is just a month to go for landlords with privately rented properties to secure early bird and other discounts on Liverpool City Council’s Landlord Licensing scheme.
Landlords signing up before the end of June 2022 will benefit from a saving which will take the total cost of a five-year licence down to £380 per property, rather than £550.
Early adopters can also benefit from a range of other reductions:
£50 discount for each property with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of C or above
£50 discount on all properties licensed by the same licence holder, in the same block of flats
£30 discount for each property if the licence holder has an active membership of a housing-related professional body
These discounts are extended to landlords who are new to the rental market, or for those who buy a property with a tenant in situ, within 14 days of the completion of purchase.
So far, the council has received over 8,500 applications – but it is known that more landlords are yet to sign up.
The new scheme, which runs until April 2027, is based on poor property conditions, targeting the 16 wards in the city where at least one in five homes is owned by a private landlord.
Around 45,000 of the 55,000 properties in the original city-wide scheme – which ran from 2015-2020 – are covered, giving the council additional powers to drive up standards and keep vulnerable tenants safe, such as tackling fire and electrical safety hazards, excess cold and damp and preventing and tackling anti-social behaviour.
The wards included are: Central, Riverside, Greenbank, Kensington, Picton, Tuebrook & Stoneycroft, County, Anfield, St Michael’s, Princes Park, Kirkdale, Old Swan, Warbreck, Wavertree, Fazakerley and Everton.
There is no charge for landlords offering permanent accommodation to meet homelessness duties, providing the property meets licence standards.
Applications are made online and payment – which covers the five years of the scheme – is in two parts:
The first payment is for the administration needed to process and issue licence applications, including checks to make sure a licence holder is fit and proper. Applicants will also need to attach supporting documents such as a valid gas safety certificate.
The second payment will be requested once the licence has been deemed suitable to be granted and leads to checks for compliance and the enforcement of licence conditions.
Landlord Licensing is separate to HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupation) licensing, which is already mandatory and covers over 2,600 properties. The council continues to provide a reactive service dealing with complaints and referrals covering all private rental properties.
Cabinet Member for Strategic Development and Housing, Councillor Sarah Doyle, said: “We’ve had a very positive response to the launch of the new Landlord Licensing scheme, with many landlords already coming forward.
“However, we know there are more who haven’t yet responded. If they do so in the next few weeks, they will save a considerable amount of money, particularly if they have several properties.
“Landlord Licensing is now mandatory, meaning it is legally enforceable. If they don’t sign up, they risk being taken to court and facing a fine much greater than the cost of a licence.”
“It is really important because too many vulnerable people in our city are in poor housing conditions. The money we raise gives us the ability to enforce standards, taking action when concerns are raised.
“Under the previous scheme, council intervention forced bad landlords into taking action to improve their properties, and we want to build on this success.”
BENEFITS OF LANDLORD LICENSING
An evaluation of the 2015-2020 city-wide licensing scheme found:
Over 34,000 inspections of licensed properties had been completed, which identified 65 per cent of properties were not fully compliant on the first visit
Identification of 4,350 cases of the most serious category 1 and 2 hazards including disrepair and excess cold affecting the health and wellbeing of residents
Issuing of more than 2,500 legal notices, 169 formal cautions and 197 written warnings
More than 300 successful landlord offence prosecutions and issuing of 87 civil penalties
The scheme is pivotal to the success of the Council Plan and the City Plan, both of which aim to ensure residents live in safe, inclusive and welcoming neighbourhoods.