Liverpool landlord licensing ruled in breach of Data Protection ActMake Text Bigger
I would like to preface this piece by saying that I, like the majority of decent landlords I know would fully support true Selective landlord licensing in Liverpool. It is the politically motivated ‘blanket’ licensing, which after 13 months has not improved the situation of a single tenant in Liverpool, that we object to.
In a letter dated 10th May 2016 the Information Commissioner has ruled that by forcing landlords to sign the blanket authorisation below in order for their Landlord Licence applications to be processed, Liverpool City Council is in breach of the Data Protection Act.
‘2.6 I as the proposed licence holder, hereby authorise any statutory body holding information about me, which falls within the categories above, to provide this information on request by Liverpool City Council.’
This is all down to the work and persistence of one Liverpool landlord who was interviewed on BBC Radio Merseyside on Wednesday (11th May), where the presenter also revealed that after 13 months work Liverpool City Council has issued just 1,200 licences out of approximately 35,000 applications.
Where were the landlord associations when all this was going on? The RLA and NLA that charge landlords £80 per year to represent them. With all the resources available to these bodies why was it left to one landlord to take on the Council? The RLA even became a co-regulator with Liverpool City Council to assist in the implementation of the scheme, no doubt creating a nice new revenue stream. A scheme now ruled to be in breach of the third protocol of the Data Protection Act. What has the RLA got to say about that? Are they even aware?
This ruling represents a huge victory for landlords, not only in Liverpool, but in all areas where blanket licensing has been introduced and we would encourage all landlords to check their applications to see if other authorities may also be in breach of the Act.
We believe Liverpool City Council should now write to every landlord who has applied for a licence informing them of the breach and offering compensation. Liverpool must revoke all the licences issued so far, refund all application and licence fees paid to date and start the licensing process from scratch, providing new application forms to all applicants.
If you are in the process of applying for a licence, please email the Council and request a full explanation of how this has occurred, requesting a full refund and new application forms.
Many thanks to the one Landlord who took on the mantel that should have been worn by the NLA and RLA.
Another very good case for Property118 to form a truly representative Landlord Association.
UPDATE – 19/05/2016
Copy of article published by Larry Sweeney, the landlord referred to in the above article
The Information Commissioner has ruled that by forcing landlords to sign a blanket authorisation in order for their Landlord Licence applications to be processed, Liverpool City Council is in breach of the Data Protection Act. I am the landlord who single handedly, without any paid legal advice, managed to obtain this ruling.
So what does it mean?
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.
The venue is the Conservative Club, Birkdale Village Southport.
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.
Further information, help and advise will be available for all landlords who attend.
There is no cost and the Council will not be invited.
To book your place please complete the form below. I will receive a copy of your contact details.
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