Landlords Victory in Liverpool

by Larry Sweeney

15:00 PM, 13th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Landlords Victory in Liverpool

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Landlords Victory in Liverpool

The attempt by Liverpool city council to impose their city wide licensing scheme on Liverpool landlords for a further 5 years has been struck down by the Secretary of State.

Full credit to the government and full credit to Brandon Lewis who changed the law after this greedy authority originally foisted their rotten scheme on Liverpool by claiming, deliberately misleadingly, that the entire city was an area of low demand.

To recap, in order to impose their scheme back in 2015 Liverpool claimed that the city ie all of Liverpool was an area of low demand. How insulting to residents, tenants and landlords and indeed everybody who loves this great vibrant amazing city.

Despite this we had the local authority working to undermine the city simply in order for this bankrupt authority to stuff its coffers with even more tax payers cash.

As we go to press we can also confirm that Merseyside police pulled a senior member of the council from his office last month and arrested him in connection with an ongoing corruption investigation. It would not be prudent to comment further on this at present.

Back to the council and their argument. Liverpool is not a city of low demand and the Government was absolutely correct in striking this garbage down.

The council recently had their sham consultation ..Sham because the 2015 consultation allowed their scheme to proceed on the back of the ‘low demand argument’.

We took the RLA to task at the time and told the previous CEO that co regulation was a serious mistake, that it was assisting the council with their dodgy scheme.

The Alliance since its inception has fought Liverpool tooth and nail. We flatly refused to legitimise their consultation process despite being invited to get involved. Our argument was that we could not engage with a process where the party running the scheme has lied in order to implement the original scheme back in 2015.

Instead we lobbied hard and then stepped back as the May government imploded. We also had a direct face to face meeting with a conservative MP and passed him a file for the Secretary of State.

That file outlined the nature of the misleading low demand argument as well as consisting of reams of evidence as to why Liverpool were not to be trusted with data. Anybodies data. We currently have an alliance member presenting another file to his legal team outlining over 150 data breaches by LCC.

At the time of writing there is a case in train in court for yet another breach of GDPR by Liverpool relating directly to landlord licensing.

We strongly disagreed with the RLA co regulating the Liverpool scheme, but we agree with a very valid point made by the RLA. They rightly point out that the majority of breaches which Liverpool crow about relate to technical breaches ie breaches such as forgetting to enclose an EPC in a tenant pack, rather than serious breaches relating to safety.

5 years in to the council’s money making racket and what has changed?

There are still parts of L4, L7 etc that are a blight on the landscape. Had Liverpool introduced licensing properly and target certain streets rather than vast swathes of postcodes, we would have backed the council. The overwhelming majority of Liverpool landlords are not rogue landlords and how dare these pompous town hall officials degrade this great city with their low demand tosh.

The council may now try to get 20% and jack up fees to pull some cash in. We say No. They have the scheme running, the infrastructure is in place so if they really are concerned about vulnerable tenants introduce the scheme on a select street basis. Reduce the fee to £100 now as the original set up costs have been paid for with millions to spare.

Do not attempt to extort further monies from tax payers as we will hold you to account.

Finally to all Liverpool residents, boycott the Liverpool Echo, the paper which pushes the Council agenda. The suggestion that lives are being put at risk by scrapping this scam is pure scaremongering.

Join the Landlords Alliance Click Here and help us to strike down every rotten scheme in the country.

There are many ways to improve housing and alleviate homelessness and selective licensing is certainly not the way to go. Liverpool ‘s gigantic failure proves that there are better ways.



Comments

Neil Patterson

15:08 PM, 13th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Well done Larry I can't believe it was 2015 you started campaigning against this on Property118.

Yvonne Patterson

15:10 PM, 13th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Awesome news Larry, very well done!

steve p

1:56 AM, 14th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Well done.. I wonder if there is a case now for that scheme to be deemed unlawful and all monies paid be refunded.. Would send a strong message to any other councils that think we are cash cows for the milking

Chris @ Possession Friend

10:06 AM, 14th January 2020
About 7 months ago

There are others out there like Liverpool, also some schemes that are run slightly better.
But whilst praising the Government for its sense and objective assessment of Liverpool's renewal proposal, lets not forget ;
That Liverpool operated in bad faith bring in the scheme, where it was brought forward to operate city wide just ahead of the Govt's 20% of an area without Govt approval regulations. being implemented in April 2015. and that for the Govt's part,

they recently commissioned the sham review of L.A Licensing schemes where Councils were asked to comment review the effectiveness of their own schemes, I mean, 'what's that all about ' !

David Atkins

10:29 AM, 14th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Well done guys. Birmingham City Council next?

David Lawrenson

11:17 AM, 14th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Well done indeed.

As you rightly point out, how can all of the Liverpool area be an area of "low housing demand", (whatever that even means).

There always seems to be a large number of ahem, "property gurus" who are often pushing the city as the next great property investment, to their followers. I can't comment on the merits of that as I am not an expert in Liverpool's strength as an economy, but all this seems very hard to square with it being an area of supposedly low housing demand.

Focused licensing in problem areas and where the emphasis is not on collecting money from the law abiding landlords, but being proactive and going after the criminals in the sector, who are hiding in plain sight, letting hugely overcrowded properties to the very vulnerable and to illegal immigrants - this ought to be the priority. And success in prosecuting and putting out of business the criminals ought to be the only metric that's being measured.

David Lawrenson
http://www.LettingFocus.com
Author of "Successful Property Letting"

Peter Fredericks

11:26 AM, 14th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Well done! Similar scams alleging "low demand" on a blunderbuss approach also need to be challenged, for example Salford City Council. These appalling self-serving Council jobsworths really need to be challenged, but it takes time, money and a concerted unified effort to resist them. These people are the enemies of any sort of enterprise. They will try and pick off individual landlords one by one with their coercive tactics and an approach lacking any sort of robust evidence. The so called "elected" members making these policies are not really democratically legitimate as they are not voted in on a one-person-one-equal-vote electoral system, just first-past-the-post.

Beaver

11:40 AM, 14th January 2020
About 7 months ago

In terms of the history Liverpool had problems with an extreme left-wing element on its council and problems with governance in the early 1980s; this did neither the city, nor its residents any favours and it would be nice to think that it had moved on.

Ronald Crane

5:40 AM, 15th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Just had a notice that all landlords & people who rent property in our Poole and Bournemouth areas are to be considered by our local Councils, to pay £330 every 5 years (+ V.A.T. ?) on each of their properties! What a "B" cheek! Just to swell the coffers of these 2 local Councils with NO justification for their plan. Landlords do an amazing service to our community in housing the home-less, as the said 2 local Councils cant / don't cope. Is this some un-justified extortion plan, or what ??
Landlords are already being hammered by increased tax demands and new government legislation against them.
Thousands are currently getting out of the business by selling up. The authorities are shooting them-selves in the foot with their anti landlord stance, as thousand of tenants will be made homeless, thus relying on their local councils for accommodation, that they simply cant provide enough of.
Message to said councils,,, STOP THE LANDLORD BASHING / PERSECUTION !!!

Richard of York

17:10 PM, 15th January 2020
About 7 months ago

Good to see you're still out there Larry,

As a Liverpool landlord of more years than I care to remember we fought very hard against this scheme first time around and here we are again..... I attended one of the 'consultation' meetings last year and it was clear ( as it was 6 years ago) that they were planning to go ahead with it again anyway - there was no consultation!! One council officer could barely keep the smirk off his face as he said the fee would be £350 per property - last time I paid £200.
At this 'consultation' meeting one attendee admitted to having 150 properties with no licences! Once again, compliant landlords join and others just carry on as they were.

It looks as though Joe Anderson plans to fight this decision in court https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/comment/comment/our-landlord-licensing-scheme-protects-the-people-of-liverpool-we-will-go-to-court-to-defend-it-if-we-must-64712

Being forewarned, how can we best prepare and provide evidence of the woeful return on investment of this scheme and that the council's claims about its effectiveness are hugely inaccurate?

Thoughts:
There was a list of all the recorded breaches to date somewhere online, but I cannot find it now.....they claim the scheme keeps people safe - so let them demonstrate how with some figures.
I believe the monies raised by the scheme ( thought to be around £10 million ) could only be used to cover the costs of the scheme - would an FOI request force the council to show how this revenue has been spent over five years?
To be clear I have no issue with rooting out bad or incompetent landlords and will simply increase all my rents by £10 per month to cover the new proposed licence fee per property if this scheme goes ahead.

The council has the details of thousands of landlords on record, they don't need to collect them again - a simple registration fee per landlord and self certification as a fit and proper person should be sufficient. New landlords to the area would simply have to register. The council could concentrate its efforts in the real problem areas.

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