Liverpool’s Landlord Licensing Scheme comes into force on April 1st 2015 and will require all Private Landlords in the City to apply for a five-year Licence for each of their rented properties.
The Scheme is being introduced in Liverpool under the Government’s selective Licensing Laws and signing up for it is compulsory.
Why are Liverpool City Council doing this?
The Scheme is designed to reassure Tenants that licensed Landlords in the City are ‘fit and proper’. Before you are granted a Licence you will be asked to declare
- convictions for dishonesty, violence or drug-related offences
- breaches of Housing or Landlord and Tenant Laws
Licensed Landlords’ properties must meet fire, electric and gas safety standards and be in a good state of repair. Licensed Landlords must be able to deal effectively with any complaints about their tenants.
Conditions may be attached to your Licence. What happens if Licence conditions are breached?
If a Licence is issued and the conditions are breached this could lead to a fine of up to £5,000. This could also lead to the revocation of the Licence and unless a suitable alternative Licence holder could be found, the Council may take over the management of the Property by issuing an Interim Management Order (IMO).
Can you be made exempt?
Properties with an HMO Licence are exempt & there are also other circumstances which may mean you do not have to Licence a property. A full list of exemptions can be obtained from Liverpool City Council.
How do I apply?
There is a 2 stage process
- the first stage of the process requires you to register your contact details with Liverpool City Council and list the Properties you own
- after that the Council will contact you to let you know when and how to complete the second part of the Application process, when payment is due and how to pay
Be warned: If you have not registered by April 1st 2015 you could be charged an Administration Fee or face prosecution.
How much will a Licence cost?
The Fees below are for online Applications only. The Council will help Landlords who choose not to apply online, but a Fee will be charged for this assistance.
- first property: £400.00
- each additional property £350.00
- Properties in an approved Scheme £200.00
What are "approved Schemes"?
The rate of £200 per Property is available to members of the CLASS Accredited landlord Scheme and other organisations that are approved under the City Council co-regulation initiative. If you are a member of a professional Association, you should check with them to see if they are signed up to co-regulation.
Membership of approved Schemes must be held for the duration of the five-year Licence period – full Fees will be charged if not.
Kevin Ross, head of property at Brown Turner Ross commented:
"The Council say that the licensing Scheme is necessary to to improve management standards in the private rented sector to ensure that Properties have a positive impact on the area. The stated aim is to raise Tenancy & Management standards across the private rented sector. However, the Fees payable by Landlords who have bought a significant number of properties over a period of years could be prohibitive, especially where their margins are tight. Already we have have had concerns expressed to us by several of the Landlords we act for.
Tenants who are dissatisfied with their Landlord may welcome the Scheme but, how will they react if the Rent is increased as a result of these Fees being paid ? Another concern is the use to which the income generated (likely to be substantial) will be put. Will it all be ploughed back into funding action required to improved the private rental sector in the City where Landlords are not complying with Conditions on their Licence? Time will tell!
If you want advice on this or any Property transaction call me on 0800 195 7517."