Just months following the introduction of Compulsory Letting Licences in Liverpool, Wirral has followed suit.
The scheme will come into effect in four designated parts of the Wirral from today, 1st July 2015. The designated areas will be Birkenhead South; Egerton North; Seacombe Library and Egremont Promenade South.
These areas were identified using research by Wirral Borough Councils performance and public health intelligence team, which identified key areas suffering from low demand i.e. low sales values and high levels of empty homes.
The rationale behind this new requirement stems from recent statistics from Wirral Borough Council that reports almost one in three private residential rented properties in the selected areas are failing to meet the basic standards of being regarded as a “decent home”.
The main objective of the scheme is to encourage adequate and standardised property management that will create a level playing field for landlords, and lead to the reduction in unoccupied property in the selected areas. It is hoped that the scheme will provide an avenue of support for tenants living in poor conditions and in turn increase stability and “more settled” communities.
Whilst there are no excuses for rogue landlords leaving properties in unacceptable conditions there are concerns that respectable landlords, i.e. over two thirds of landlords, who will now need to comply with this scheme, may unknowingly be caught out by the provisions due to lack of awareness. Despite providing and managing decent homes for tenant, landlords that fail to comply with this licence scheme could face fines and even criminal sanctions.
The application is a 2 stage process. For further information, and to download the application form to apply for a licence, please visit:-https://www.wirral.gov.uk/housing/housing-information-and-advice/private-landlords-and-managing-agents/selective-licensing.
Remember, as of 1st July, it will be a criminal offence if landlords in these areas do not have the required licence in place.