City’s selective licensing scheme condemned as ‘a waste of time’

City’s selective licensing scheme condemned as ‘a waste of time’

0:03 AM, 8th December 2022, About 2 months ago 11

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A city council that introduced a selective licensing scheme in April has been deluged with 31,000 applications from landlords – but has only issued 104 licenses so far.

This has prompted the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) to condemn the scheme as a ‘waste of time’.

And, the NRLA has calculated, it will take council officers 148 years to process applications from landlords at the same rate.

Crucial tool in addressing sub-standard housing

The scheme in Liverpool was hailed by the city council as being a crucial tool in addressing sub-standard housing across the city.

The move saw all privately rented homes across Liverpool’s 16 wards needing a licence.

Now the NRLA says that the figures presented to the Liverpool Landlord Forum raise ‘serious questions’ about the extent to which the scheme is needed to address the city’s poor-quality housing.

According to Freedom of Information data previously obtained by the NRLA, between 2018/19 and 2020/21, out of 103 civil penalties issued to private landlords in the city, 89 of them were for offences related to the previous selective licensing scheme.

No penalties were issued for failing to comply with a property improvement notice, a banning order or a notice that a property was overcrowded.

The NRLA found that just two penalties were issued for breaches of management regulations in shared housing.

Civil penalty strategy has served only to tackle administrative issues

Now the NRLA says that the council’s civil penalty strategy has served only to tackle administrative issues such as the failure to hold a licence – rather than improving property conditions themselves.

Ben Beadle, the organisation’s chief executive said: “If Liverpool Council really believes licensing is so key to ensuring properties are safe, it begs the question why it takes so long to process applications for them.

“At a time when the condition of housing is under such scrutiny, the council is spending too much time administering a licencing scheme and not enough time taking enforcement action to tackle poor quality housing.”

He added: “Rather than penalising good landlords with a blanket policy, the council should use the range of data already available to them to find and root out the minority of landlords who fail to provide safe housing.”



Comments

Rich Robson

10:42 AM, 8th December 2022, About 2 months ago

This would cause them to actually have to do something rather than issue a letter or a fine. They need to get off their ar$es and manage the problem at the grass roots not behind a desk.

Helen @ Like-Clockwork

10:50 AM, 8th December 2022, About 2 months ago

I wonder if the previous licensing scheme in Liverpool achieved much in the way of improving housing standards. I was monitoring three developments, none of which were inspected during the 5 year licensing period, and all of which had specific issues which I believe should have been addressed by the licensing scheme. I'm not aware of any unlicensed landlords being held to account either.

Now we have the new 5 year scheme, and I'm waiting for licenses to come through...plus all the landlords who haven't registered to be contacted. I ask myself....is this another landlord tax or a genuine scheme to improve housing standards?

Rich Robson

11:02 AM, 8th December 2022, About 2 months ago

Its just a way to take profit from landlords, and force good landlords to sell up.
Cant they come up with a scheme to force bad landlords to comply and not invent new ways of taxing us.

Mick Roberts

12:19 PM, 8th December 2022, About 2 months ago

This is @MyNottingham Sel Licensing too @BeadleBen the failure to hold a licence – rather than improving property conditions themselves. In 5 or 10 years time @LindaWoodings @cllrtobyneal will look back and say Wow so many homeless or increased rents.

https://twitter.com/MickRobertsBoss/status/1600826944756809728?t=YHEGMXMGwLVPdSqKN6MCEA&s=19

Mark Thomas

16:26 PM, 8th December 2022, About 2 months ago

What happens to the money (£180 for one property), already paid by applicants like me for the latest licences. Do we get refunds if nothing happens ....?

cashcow

17:52 PM, 8th December 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Thomas at 08/12/2022 - 16:26
£180 that's cheap, Hackney council £500 for one bed and over 950 for anything bigger. I guess its a London thing.
Just another money grabbing tool, I remember thinking they were using a mallet to crack a nut but i now believe its worse than that.

Mark Thomas

18:20 PM, 8th December 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by cashcow at 08/12/2022 - 17:52
£180 was only the first stage payment

Mick Roberts

7:44 AM, 9th December 2022, About 2 months ago

I just left this elsewhere which we all know is relevant:

Two licensing schemes which aim to improve the quality of A MINUTE NUMBER OF privately rented accommodation.
But WILL INCREASE rents for the majority of other 80% good houses that haven't got a problem and planned refurbs new kitchens new bathrooms on them houses will get delayed cause the funds have gone on Licensing which they didn't need.

The Property Man

11:52 AM, 9th December 2022, About 2 months ago

YES total waste of time !!!!! I have applied for nearly 40 Licences from this council and had nothing back for months, They steal your money and do nothing. Even with the last scheme I paid out thousands to this council and never heard a thing and not one property was inspected !!! Total waste of money that should be used to improve properties for tenants and not pay council wasted time on this pathetic scheme !!!!

Mick Roberts

9:42 AM, 10th December 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by The Property Man at 09/12/2022 - 11:52
You say it perfectly Property Man.

Costing me £57,000 Aug 2023 & since Aug 2018, my tenants have had not one single inspection.

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