Liverpool Landlord Licensing Falls Foul Of Deregulation Act

Liverpool Landlord Licensing Falls Foul Of Deregulation Act

23:09 PM, 24th May 2016, About 7 years ago 51

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Liverpool Landlord Licensing Also Falls Foul Of Deregulation Act

Not only does the application form for Liverpool Landlord Licensing fall foul of the Data Protection Act, the scheme rules also fall foul of the De-Regulation Act.

I refer to condition 4 of their Landlord License . The Council insist that Landlords issue a section 21 where anti-social behaviour is taking place.

Their specified timeline would mean a landlord issuing a section 21 after a maximum of 45 days, YET the De-Regulation Act clearly states that in the case of new tenancies, a section 21 notice cannot be issued in the first 4 months of a tenancy.

If a landlord fails to comply with the conditions imposed by this council, (s)he could be fined, get a criminal record and have the management of his property taken away from him/her.

On the other hand, if (s)he issues the Section 21 as per the Licensing Condition then that would not be valid based on the De-Regulation Act.

That is the nonsense Liverpool are forcing landlords to sign up to, and their co -regulation bodies, with their legal teams, seem to have overlooked this detail.

In my opinion Liverpool City Council are not a fit body to regulate landlords judging from the paucity of their Landlord application forms and the actual licenses themselves.

I call upon the Housing Minister to intervene.

On the 10th May , The ICO stated that in their view Liverpool City Council’s Landlord Licening Application Form falls foul of the Data Protection Act. Despite this damning verdict Liverpool are writing to Landlords waffling about having received advice from the DPA but failing to admit to the breach. This issue will not recede as the forms are not compliant and Liverpool do not have Landlords signatures agreeing to their draconian conditions.

The license and its conditions could quite easily result in a criminal prosecution for any landlord operating in Liverpool. With the help of Property118 and its members I now want to take the fight to Liverpool Council, which itself has has been prosecuted in the magistrates court for a criminal offence in 2006/2007.

I am holding a meeting for all Landlords who feel strongly about this and want to take further action. The Council and their co-regulators (the RLA) are neither invited nor welcome.

To explain what we can do now, with a view to getting this licensing scheme scrapped altogether, I am hosting an emergency meeting and inviting all Liverpool Landlords to attend on at 7PM on Thursday 26th May 2016. There is no cost to attend. The venue is the Conservative Club, Birkdale Village Southport.

To book your place please complete the form below. I will receive a copy of your contact details.

Oops! We could not locate your form.

 


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Comments

Mandy Thomson

8:54 AM, 27th May 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Cheeky Chappy" at "26/05/2016 - 22:08":

Theoretically, and strictly speaking, yes, in practice, this can't be relied on.

A statement from a former council cabinet member, who served as a councillor in Croydon from 1998 - 2010, who is now the MP Gavin Barwell:
"Mr Barwell said that his time as a cabinet member on the council, however, made him realise there were “grey areas” where seemingly ring-fenced funds could be used in a variety of ways."

This was part of a report by the Croydon Advertiser on a meeting on landlord licensing held in September 2015. I attended that meeting and the Advertiser's report is extremely accurate. You can read the full article here:
http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/Landlords-rail-Croydon-Council-s-unjust-licence/story-23005748-detail/story.html#ixzz49q6YJLSu

I also know someone who worked as a safety inspector for several London Borough councils. He once told me he was shocked at some of the rule bending and even downright illegal practices that took place behind closed doors when the councillors wanted to push policies through.

Paul Franklin

10:26 AM, 27th May 2016, About 7 years ago

The only mention of a Section 21 in the licence is preceded by the letters 'e.g.' isn't it?

The serving of a Section 21 appears to be an example of what action could be taken to stop asb, not an instruction.

Am I missing something?

Mandy Thomson

11:13 AM, 27th May 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Franklin" at "27/05/2016 - 10:26":

Fair point, Paul, but look at the excerpt in more detail: "e.g. the tenancy agreement or licence and which shall include promptly taking any legal proceedings to address the anti-social behaviour by issuing a section 21 Notice..."

The "e.g." is referring to the tenancy agreement or licence only, not the words proceeding from "and" onwards.

For the phrase to read as you're suggesting, it would have to be worded something like this: "e.g. the tenancy agreement or licence and which FOR EXAMPLE COULD [not "shall"] include promptly taking any legal proceedings to address the anti-social behaviour by issuing a section 21 Notice..."

Paul Franklin

11:29 AM, 27th May 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "27/05/2016 - 11:13":

Ok, yes I see your point. It's badly worded at best.

Mandy Thomson

11:42 AM, 27th May 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Franklin" at "27/05/2016 - 11:29":

Honestly, I take better care of wording my posts on here, and even on emails and texts to friends, than the person who wrote that thing for Liverpool Council which carries the force of law!!

Michael Barnes

12:19 PM, 27th May 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "27/05/2016 - 11:13":

My guess is that it was originally, correctly, written with a comma before "and", to show that it is parenthetical, and that someone in the proofing stage "remembered" a (incorrect) rule (that I was taught) that "you do not put a comma before 'and'" and removed it.

Larry Sweeney

12:24 PM, 27th May 2016, About 7 years ago

Mandy" s Analysis is exact. This document with the sect 21 clause would not stand scrutiny in the local Bar, Never mind a court.
There is a further issue with this license condition.
The council stating that a section 21 must be used clearly breaches the de regulation act. I wont labour this point as readers will by now have got it.
However forcing the landlord to issue a section 21 prevents the landlord from corporate lets. The landlord could not rent to a limited company because a limited company cannot sign an AST therefore no section21 could be issued and the landlord would find himself in breach of this condition. What an absolute mess. To force landlords to sign up to this garbage is appalling. I have today called for the housing minister to intervene and scrap this license scheme, and I urge all Landlords to assist us an email amin.uddin@communities.gsi.gov.uk. Please inform them that Liverpool are in breach of the 2004 Housing act by failing to issue licenses in a timely manner. Their 5 yr license is not a 5 yr license .If they issued all outstanding licenses tomorrow, which is impossible as the licenses already issued are flawed , the maxium period of validation would be 3 yrs 10 months. This combined with all the flaws revealed make this scheme a complete fiasco. I urge every landlord in the UK to email this to the above address.

Mandy Thomson

12:40 PM, 27th May 2016, About 7 years ago

In legal parlance they've acted "ultra vires" - outside of their authority - as they are potentially requiring a landlord to override English law by issuing a section 21 in ALL circumstance to get rid of an anti social tenant, when the law only allows issue of a section 21 in CERTAIN circumstances.

John Frances

13:34 PM, 27th May 2016, About 7 years ago

Although I doubt very much that the Liverpool licensing scheme will be scrapped as it followed due process.
However, I do have an issue of the wording of the licence conditions and it maybe prevalent to progress this point a little further. The only way I can see that LCC can amend the ASB item is to vary the licence conditions under Schedule 5; Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004. Can you imagine the paperwork that would have to be generated to first consult with each licence holder and relevant person before a full variation notice can be issued?
If they refuse to vary, you can apply to the tribunal to have it varied.
Obtain the public register of the licences and write to each licence holder requesting they want their licences varied. Will take a fair amount of administration, but what disruption!
Remembering that it would only apply to licences issued after 1st October 2015 after the De-Regulation Act came into force. The licence applied for before that date would be OK unless a new AST has been signed after that date.

Mandy Thomson

14:28 PM, 27th May 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "John Frances" at "27/05/2016 - 13:34":

Even prior to the Deregulation Act, a section 21 notice was not appropriate for all circumstances; for example, during the fixed term of a AST (you could issue the notice unlike after the Act, but it would still only take effect after the fixed term), or as has been pointed out, if the tenancy isn't an AST to begin with, for example, a company let or other licence or common law tenancy.

Even allowing for the above, a section 21 still isn't appropriate for ASB as it's supposed to be used to simply request the property back, where there's no fault on the part of the tenant, and the tenant gets at least 2 months notice.

If someone is committing ASB, you would want them out sooner and it's likely you would also want to pursue damages or rent arrears too. In practise, section 21 is often used as a workaround where there's a tenancy breach as it can take so long for cases to go through the courts.

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