Liverpool has become the second council to announce plans to introduce compulsory licensing for landlords.
A new city-wide licensing scheme for private landlords could be introduced from next year, under city council plans to drive up the quality of rented properties in the city.
Liverpool City Counil’s Cabinet has today approved plans for the consultations to begin over the introduction of a city-wide compulsory licensing scheme for all private rented properties.
The new scheme, which could come into force in 2013, would mean all property owners who rent out their properties would need to apply for a licence, agreeing to comply with a minimum set of standards. A breach of the conditions could lead to a fine, or even revocation of the licence.
The council says there are over 50,000 rented properties in the city and the sector is vital in meeting Liverpool’s housing needs. The plans aim to support the city’s pledge to work with the majority of responsible landlords, support their businesses and create a level playing field for all, while cracking down on landlords who do not manage their properties properly.
The licensing scheme would also help empower tenants – who currently have no way of knowing the quality of their prospective landlord – and help them make informed choices according to the council. And, the council claims, it would protect residents who have suffered from neighbouring properties being bought by landlords who have then let them indiscriminately to unsuitable tenants.
The proposals form part of the council’s three-year ‘Bringing Empty Homes Back Into Use’ programme, which aims to tackle void properties across Liverpool, deal with problem landlords and improve the standard of the city’s rented accommodation.