Liverpool council granted my licence for less than 5 years?

by Readers Question

15:40 PM, 2nd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Liverpool council granted my licence for less than 5 years?

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Liverpool council granted my licence for less than 5 years?

I am looking for legal advice as Liverpool council granted my licence for less than 5 years. This is their replay. I am aware it’s up to 5 years, but there is no reason why I shouldn’t be granted 5 years licence when I only bought my house in 2018.

27th July 2018

Dear Pawel,

Re: Complaint about landlord licensing service

I refer to your two complaints of 25th July 2018. This has been dealt with under the City Council Have Your Say Procedure at Stage 1 www.liverpool.gov.uk/contact-us/complaints-and-feedback.

I am the manager of the applications team in Landlord Licensing with overall responsibility for the processing of all applications and issuing of licences. I have been assigned your complaint and will respond below

1. Complaint – I would like to receive an extension of my licence up to 5 years as it stated on the Liverpool licence website or as I would apply for a licence in 2015 immediately after the scheme was introduced.

Response – The Liverpool City Council Licensing scheme started on the 1st April 2015 and will run until 31st March 2020. This means that it is a legal requirement for privately rented properties which fall under this designation much hold a licence during this period. It is a criminal offence to operate a property at any point whilist the scheme is in force.

The Landlord licensing website states the following “licences run for a maximum of five years” This means that they can be granted for any amount of time up to a maximum of five years. This is because under the Housing act 2004 a licensing scheme can only be brought in for a maximum of 5 years.

On the 1st April 2020 this licensing scheme will have ended and if there is no scheme in place then a licence would not be valid.

I am unsure how it would have been possible to apply in April 2015 for a licence for a property that you did not own until March 2018.

2.  Complaint – I should never be disadvantaged only because I bought a house after the scheme was introduced

Response – You have not been disadvantaged. It is a legal requirement to licence properties that are privately rented and fall within the criteria of the scheme. The licensing scheme applies to all landlords the same.

3. Complaint – The only people who should have their licence for shorter than 5 years are people who rented houses before the scheme was introduced and failed to register on time.

Response – Action can be taken against landlords who have failed to licence and the council has a robust enforcement policy to deal with these matters.

4.  Complaint – I am completely new applicant who complied with procedures and I am being treated unfairly receiving the licence for less than initial 5 years period.

Response – This scheme end March 2020.

5. Complaint – Whoever is taking over in 2020 should recognise my licence granted for 5 years. I see no reason why it has a shorter time scale?

Response – If a new scheme is to come into force then it would have to be approved by the government and would be under a new delegation. The scheme would contain different conditions and regulations. However a scheme after 2020 has not been applied for yet alone approved.

6 – Complaint – What would licence scheme do if I bought a house in 2020 February and applied for licence in March? Would you grant licence for 2 weeks and charge £412?

Response – It is a legal requirement to licence properties while the licensing scheme is in force so a licence would be required.

I would also like to draw you attention to legal requirements around the fee. The licence fee is not a pro-rata fee and it is not dependant on the length of the licence. The licence fee is for the administration of the licensing scheme. More information can be found about licensing fees and how they are set in line with the Housing act 2004, Local Government Association guidance and European Services Directive.

I trust this information is of assistance. However, if you remain dissatisfied, you have a right to progress your complaint to Stage 2 of the Have Your Say Procedure. You must detail in writing why you remain dissatisfied to the Service Improvement Manager, at Cunard Building, Pier Head, Water Street, Liverpool, L3 1DS or by email to commserviceaccess@liverpool.gov.uk.

Yours sincerely

Iain Crawford
Investigating Officer
Private Sector Housing Licensing Applications Co-ordinator
Liverpool City Council, Cunard Buildings, Water Street, Liverpool, L3 1AH
T: 0151 233 3055
E: iain.crawford@liverpool.gov.uk



Comments

Neil Patterson

15:42 PM, 2nd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Any advice you can give for Pawel please Larry 🙂

Larry Sweeney

17:14 PM, 2nd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Firstly I would like to state that I make no critisism of Mr Crawford personally. I know him he is a decent guy.
Moving on LCC are gangsters. The scheme was introduced on the back of a massive lie. They introduced this scam by claiming that the entite city was an area of low demand. Every dog on the street knows that is is blatantly false.
Secondly the "have your say " is a waste of time. One section of the council invrstigates the other then white washes. Do not engage and give credibility to this council nonsense. The scheme derives from.the provisions of the HA 2004. It would be very interesting to see a legal challenge to the fees demanded as clearly it is wrong to pay s 5 year fee for s two year licence. Mr Crawford outlines the position as it is, but the only way to resolve this would be to get a court ruling on it.

silversurfer2017

12:38 PM, 3rd August 2018
About 3 months ago

This seems an ideal way for councils to make extra money but is blatantly unfair and unreasonable. Under their current rules they get paid £412 ever time the property changes hand in their stipulated 5 year period. This will often be twice and could in theory be more often than this. Pro rata is the sensible and fair way to go, with perhaps a nominal £25 admin charge. In May next year I will be aged 75 and when I buy my TV licence this October I will only pay a pro rata amount up to the date of my 75th birthday.

Mick Roberts

12:44 PM, 3rd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Brilliant.

I've been waiting for someone to take up this. Perfect.
Let us know how you get on.
And it will be the same with the man who has bought a house with 6 months left of the Licensing Scheme to run.

They should be doing pro-rota. We MOT our cars, we get the full year. With Licensing, we don't.
Why has Licensing not got provision for part payment of the time remaining?

Take it to Stage to please, then Ombudsman. Hopefully Ombudsman will see all our cases come through & then Who knows, we may get some action.

And Larry sentiments all my points about Nottingham.

Ros poldermans

14:02 PM, 3rd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Housing act 2004, Local Government Association guidance and European Services Directive.
How did the European Services Directive.get involved

Chris Daniel

21:01 PM, 3rd August 2018
About 3 months ago

Well done to Mr Pawell for raising this. Ideally, we could do with a lot more Landlords raising this with different Councils. It would be interesting to compare different council responses ( because I'm sure they won't have got their act together as couldn't organise one in a brewery. )
I think it would make for an ideal article for the Press at Property118 to write to MHCLG ?


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