Liverpool City Council

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Monday 26th June 2017


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Liverpool City Council

15:52 PM, 26th June 2017, About 4 years ago

Liverpool Council lose at Property Tribunal

To clarify the remarks made by Mr Laurence Sweeney, these are the facts relating to his appeal against a selective licence to his property, granted by Liverpool City Council under s79 of the Housing Act 2004:
Mr Sweeney’s appeal was based on:
1. Ground 1: The licence is invalid because the copy of the proposed licence which preceded it was flawed in that it failed to include information as required by the Housing Act 2004.
2. Ground 2: The City Council’s licence fee structure is flawed and illegal.
3. Ground 3: The City Council failed to issue the licence within a reasonable time following the application and was thus in breach of the Housing Act 2004.
4. Ground 4: Condition 9(c) of the City Council’s standard selective licence conditions breaches Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
5. Ground 5: Standard licence condition 4(3)(a) is illegal and unworkable.

Following a case management hearing on the 7th March 2017, the Tribunal struck out Grounds 1-3 as there was no reasonable prospect of success and/or the Tribunal did not have jurisdiction to deal with the matters.

In relation to Ground 4, a Tribunal on 22 June 2017 accepted the City Council’s argument that this condition was reasonable and did not breach Article 8 of the ECHR. The condition therefore will remain.

In respect of Ground 5, the Tribunal did not order the removal of the condition as per Mr Sweeney’s request. It did find, however, that a balance needs to be struck between this and confidentiality to third parties. Licence condition 4(3)(a) currently reads as follows: Any letters, relating to anti-social behaviour, sent or received by the licence holder, or agent of the licence holder, must be kept by the licence holder. True copies of the original document should be made available to the Authority within 7 days on demand. The Tribunal has ordered that the City Council vary the licence condition to add the following onto the end of the licence condition (but the licence holder shall not thereby be required to disclose to the Authority, any information which the licence holder reasonably believes to have been provided in confidence to him).
The City Council accept the Tribunal decision and will vary existing licence conditions accordingly. New licences will be issued with the varied licence condition.

Mr Sweeney also made an application for costs against the City Council, however this was refused by the Tribunal who stated: ‘The conclusions of the Tribunal to not bear out Mr Sweeney’s criticisms of the Council’s conduct in these proceedings and we find that there are no grounds on which an order for costs against the Council could (or should) be made. Although these proceedings have resulted in a variation of one term of the licence, this arises from a relatively minor aspect of the appeal: Mr Sweeney’s principle grounds of appeal have been unsuccessful.’... Read More