Landlord licensing plans in pipeline

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Homes in Liverpool

Homes in Liverpool

Liverpool City Council is pushing plans to be the first city in the country to introduce a new licensing scheme for private landlords, which is aimed at increasing the quality of rented houses.

This new scheme will mean that all landlords will have to apply for a licence, which would mean complying with a number of standards that must be met. If the landlord was to breach any of the conditions, they could be fined or lose their licence.

The plan is support the landlords of the 50,000 houses that are rented in Liverpool, as well as cracking down on the landlords who fail to keep their houses up to standards. It also aims to give advice to tenants that have no way of knowing how to measure the quality of house, as well as their potential landlords.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “It’s vital that we do all we can to work with landlords across Liverpool to drive up the quality of our private rented properties. Poorly managed properties lead to problems such as low demand, anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping, and are a real blight on our neighbourhoods.

“We are already carrying out a range of work to tackle this issue, and the licensing scheme would be another major step forward, setting out our commitment to build on our positive relationships with good landlords, while making it clear that we will not tolerate unsatisfactory property conditions and poor standards of management.”

“We want to make sure Liverpool has a good quality private rented sector, which tenants can be confident in, and we believe this licensing scheme can play a major part in helping us achieve that. We will be consulting fully with landlords, tenants, residents and other stakeholders over the coming months, to make sure their views are fully taken on-board.”

Proposals of this scheme were first introduced at the end of 2013, and since then the council has been collecting a wide range of evidence from sources such as current tenants, landlords and estate agents.

This scheme is part of Liverpool’s three-year ‘Bringing Empty Homes Back Into Use’ programme, which aims to bring all void housing in Liverpool to bring them back to life, and meet specific living standards, which will then improve the qualities of rented accommodation.

The scheme is set to be brought into action in 2014.

About Kirsty McColgan, JMU Journalism