Selective Licensing – Liverpool landlord needs help

Selective Licensing – Liverpool landlord needs help

10:57 AM, 26th May 2014, About 8 years ago 19

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Liverpool City Council is proposing to bring in ‘selective licensing’ for all private landlords – if you own property in Liverpool you have the opportunity to ‘ take part in the consultation and share you views’ at meetings arranged for Monday 2nd June and Wednesday 4th June. visit www.liverpool.gov.uk/selectivelicensing .

As a landlord with several properties in Liverpool I can see no benefit to either myself or my tenants from licensing – all I can see is a large up front bill for 5 years fees in advance.

Are these programmes really about improving the lot of tenants or more about filling holes in a council’s annual budget?

Many thanks Paulliverpool



Comments

by Paul A Brady

18:50 PM, 5th June 2014, About 7 years ago

Thanks Tim.

I hope all landlords ( not just in Liverpool ) follow that link. My following comments are also on Nick's blog along with a submission sent to Opinion Reseach Services by a fellow landlord, which makes great reading.

I attended the meeting yesterday and was appalled to see how quickly the council’s case for licensing appeared to fall apart under even mild scrutiny.

The whole premise for licensing ( i.e. LOW DEMAND ) is flawed and based upon highly selective data which when questioned could not be backed up.

The whole consultation process is a box ticking exercise – they don’t even know how many landlords (stakeholders) have been contacted and the fact that over 2 days only 150 – 200 landlords have attended the meetings out of an estimated 5000 makes the whole process highly questionable and wide open to a legal challenge. By the council’s own admission ( documented ) the decision to introduce Selective licensing has already been made – though this was addressed by a council representative as an ” error”. If that is an error – how many more errors are there? The whole consultation process is a farce.

Talking of accurate figures, after 7 years of mandatory Licensing for HMO’s the council representatives seemed proud to say that they ‘thought’ their were only about 100 unlicensed premises remaining – but they can’t find them!!! This is out of an original estimate of 1250 HMO’s which now turns out to be about 950 - should we apply the same margin of error to all their figures? – how do they know if they don’t know?! The ones they can’t find are probably the ones that REALLY need to be licensed and brought up to standard.

So, not having the resources to complete one task for 950 – 1250 properties over 7 years, they propose to start another task across 50,000 properties and an estimated 5000 owners.

The premise is flawed, the evidence to support the premise has more holes in it than Blackburn, Lancashire and through most of those holes you could drive a coach and horses. The consultation is a smoke screen with a bulldozer behind it and as stakeholders we all have to get together NOW and prepare to mount a legal challenge should this misguided money raising venture get the nod.

We have to prepare NOW, build a database and take legal advice, but how do we get everyone together? Only 8 comments so far..........

by Tom Reynolds

12:28 PM, 7th June 2014, About 7 years ago

I should point out that there has been conversation with Liverpool Council for nearly two years in connection with Selective Licensing across the City region. It was supposed to be consulted on a year ago but was held up by the Legal Deoartment of the Council. I presume that were doubts in the legal minds about the veracity if a citywide approach. When they appeared ready to start, they mentioned a licence fee of £400.00 per property which would total £20 million pouinds and they were asking for help with ideas for discounts.
Six months later, the figure had risen to £500.00 and I assume this increase is to allow them to offer considerable and enticing discounts for landlords willing to sign up early.
This is their method of enforcement. They do not need a budget for enforcement in itself as there will not be any. Just as there is no enforcement for HMO licensing manifesting in something like 30% of these still unlicensed after 7 years.
There is a great deal of evidence of prior determination in this matter and I believe that the first sign of this was when the legal team were pursuaded to agree to the consultation by, presumeably, the elected Mayor.
I know that his ten point pledge only referred to a consultation and not the effecting of licensing but I have difficulty in having any thought that Mr Anderson's decision is not pre determined.
This could be point one of any legal challenge.

by John Frances

19:54 PM, 12th July 2014, About 7 years ago

I noted these posts as I have been talking to a number of landlords who have properties in Liverpool and I am some what baffled as to why Liverpool are :-
a) introducing selective licensing, and
b) using selective licensing to go city wide on all PRS housing.

There are great points and arguments on point a, but has anybody actually challenged Liverpool on point b, since Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 seems to imply that licensing of houses only and not HMO's under sec85 of the Act applies and seems to be further backed up by the explanatory memorandum of Statutory Instrument 370; 2006

by Simon Topple

12:43 PM, 13th July 2014, About 7 years ago

Liverpool landlords have been fairly active (including my and the agency I run in Liverpool) but have generally not been organised as a group. However, bodies such as the NWPOA and the NLA have been out there and trying to get grass root support - this was clear at the consultation meetings - I recognised many faces from other landlord meetings that the message was getting out there.

I am not convinced the consultation was well publicized - the arrival of the consultation was delayed repeatedly and when they finally announced it, it was starting in a few days time if I remember correctly so the notice period was dreadful.

I seriously doubt it will work or be practical. From private conversations with council officers (those that will be on the ground inspecting and enforcing) they were initially against it but seem to be toeing the party line now and are saying it will probably be of benefit.

The comment re mayoral influence is spot on - I have a copy of the mayoral position regarding licensing - I'll try and find it and post a copy here. The decision has been made in my mind - that alone should invalidate the consulation, as ORS were clear to point out that if the decision has already been made then the consultation is invalid.

by Simon Topple

14:39 PM, 10th October 2014, About 7 years ago

It's not hit the press yet but the council have this morning approved licensing for all 50,000 houses - to start April 2015.

So........ its on.

by Tony McVey

15:14 PM, 10th October 2014, About 7 years ago

It was always a foregone conclusion.

by chris wright

17:37 PM, 10th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Is there any news on the fees or the conditions or are they unchanged and as they appear on the Liverpool website?

by Simon Topple

20:28 PM, 10th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Agree Tony.

By the way - no press release yet on the matter, which is quite surprising. I only know because one of my clients spoke to you about it and you knew!!!

by Tony McVey

21:52 PM, 10th October 2014, About 7 years ago

Two representatves of the NWPOA attended the cabinet
meeting this morning snd reported back to me. I
had expected to see a report in the Echo this
evening.


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