Liverpool landlord licensing ruled in breach of Data Protection Act

Liverpool landlord licensing ruled in breach of Data Protection Act

8:40 AM, 16th May 2016, About 6 years ago 61

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Data protection actI 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.

Paul

UPDATE – 19/05/2016

Copy of article published by Larry Sweeney, the landlord referred to in the above article

Liverpool LandlordsThe 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.

Oops! We could not locate your form.



Comments

by Mark Alexander

14:32 PM, 16th May 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul A Brady" at "16/05/2016 - 12:57":

I have alerted Richard Dyson at The Telegraph. A few phone calls to him from people reading this may well help move things along.

Once The Telegraph pick up on this many others are bound to follow.

If anybody else has any high level media contacts please point them to this article.
.

by NW Landlord

14:43 PM, 16th May 2016, About 6 years ago

Gary I'm right on your wavelength i call my local council the Mafia. The speed they send out debt collectors for unpaid council tax on EMPTY properties is scary I had one property the tenants didn't inform the council and it went on for two and half years ( I now inform them like I should have done ) the sent me a bill for 2400 two years later I provided tenancies but they tenants did a runner so the counci threatened to send a debt collector round to my house and take my belongings if I wouldn't pay I stood up to them and eventually they backed down they are bully's who need to confronted these are the people who run our county's it disgusts me to be honest

by Paul A Brady

16:17 PM, 16th May 2016, About 6 years ago

Mark,

Many thanks for that. I'll go through the switchboard at the Telegraph myself.

by Larry Sweeney

20:32 PM, 16th May 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "16/05/2016 - 08:44":

I am the landlord that took this Useless authority to book. I can also confirm that the ICO upheld two further complaints against Liverpool. These were not published as legal proceedings are in train against this council, but details will be published in due course. Meanwhile every landlord who signed a Liverpool application form should now seek compensation from Liverpool council.

by Maria O'Neill

20:56 PM, 16th May 2016, About 6 years ago

I totally agree - the majority being made to pay for the few! What is the criteria for a compensation case?

by Mark Alexander

21:18 PM, 16th May 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "larry sweeney" at "16/05/2016 - 20:32":

Welcome to Property118 Larry.

We've spoken on the telephone tonight and I am delighted that you've offered your assistance to Property118 Landlords association when it's launched.
.

by Michael Barnes

22:48 PM, 16th May 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Dully" at "16/05/2016 - 14:21":

I would suggest you have a look at the ICO website starting at https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/principle-1-fair-and-lawful/ and then talk to the Authority or the ICO about whether it complies with the DPA.

If they have not told you why the information is required and how it will be used, then it may not be 'fair' under the first DP Principle.

by Richard Tacagni

23:44 PM, 16th May 2016, About 6 years ago

Hi,
I've just come across this discussion thread which makes interesting reading. I would be keen to cover this on the London Property Licensing website as it will be of interest to people across the country. Would you be willing to email me a copy of the ICO's letter?
Regards
Richard (Richard@londonpropertylicensing.co.uk)

by Gary Dully

8:32 AM, 17th May 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Richard Tacagni" at "16/05/2016 - 23:44":

As a start Richard, why not post the article on your Facebook account in all the groups you deal with.

That's what I did yesterday and a lot of landlords liked the article.

I just pressed the Facebook button next to the article and logged in.

by maurice1 dev

14:40 PM, 17th May 2016, About 6 years ago

Well done Larry,
At this stage I have a pain in my a*** filling out forms, The part2 on line one won't work for me, so I just finished filling them out on paper and photocopying them for each property. Was planning to put them in the post today, but now I will hold off.
An advantage of paper is that the paper return leaves you with a fine liability of £20K, Online the liability is unlimited.
If anyone wants the podcast it is on for the next 3 weeks on http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03sycw7#play at 1 hour 10 minutes.
There is a lot with this form I don't like eg Mortgage, If I change bank do I have to refill the form.
The age of the toilet bowl !!!!!! what does it matter?, but if I get the age wrong a fine of £5k. so I left that blank.
The age of the kitchen, Am I supposed to send off the worktop and get it lab tested? Do they think L'Lords have nothing else to do.
Rant over
Again Larry Thank you for your time and effort on this matter.


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