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About 2 weeks ago 35
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Private Sector Housing Licensing Applications Co-ordinator
Liverpool City Council, Cunard Buildings, Water Street, Liverpool, L3 1AH
T: 0151 233 3055
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