Early bird discount extended for Landlord Licensing sign-ups

An ‘early bird’ discount offer for the owners of privately rented properties to sign up for the city’s new Landlord Licensing scheme has been extended until 31 July.

Landlords signing up before then will benefit from a saving which will take the total cost of a five-year licence down to £380 per property, rather than £550. The discount was initially going to end on 30 June.

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.

To date, over 18,000 applications have been received – 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.

Following the end of the extended early bird discount period, the council will start its investigations into any potentially unlicensed properties and take action where appropriate.

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.

A list of fees and charges is at https://liverpool.gov.uk/landlordlicensing and landlords can start the application process now.

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.

BENEFITS OF LANDLORD LICENSING

An evaluation of the 2015-2020 city-wide licensing scheme found:

  • Over 34,000 compliance activities of licensed properties, 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.

Cabinet Member for Strategic Development and Housing, Councillor Sarah Doyle, said: “Thousands of landlords have already come forward but we know there are many others who haven’t yet started the application process.

“We have therefore decided to extend the period in which they can get a discount. It can save them 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.”

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