Landlords of Liverpool have just over one week left to sign up for a compulsory licence that they will need to have in place to allow them to continue to let private property. The licence process must be commenced before the upcoming deadline of 1st April 2015. Failure to do so could lead to landlords facing fines and having to pay administration fees.
Liverpool is the first major city in the UK to implement the scheme, which is estimated will apply to around 50,000 privately rented properties across the city.
The new licensing scheme is aimed to eradicate slum properties and rogue landlords, improving the quality and standards of privately rented properties. The Council will consider a number of factors when determining whether to grant a licence; including checking for any convictions involving dishonesty, violence or drug-related crimes as well as reviewing any previous contraventions of housing law.
Of course, it is crucially important that rogue landlords are targeted and sanctioned accordingly. But why should this be at the cost of every respectable landlord in Liverpool? As usual, it is the fair and decent majority of landlords that have to pay for the consequences of the conduct of the trouble causing minority.
The licences cost £400.00 for one property; with an additional £350.00 to be paid for any additional property. For those landlords already listed in an approved scheme, such as the voluntary CLASS Accredited Landlord Scheme, the reduced fee is £200.00 per property.
There is still limited time to submit an application to CLASS, which can enable landlords to qualify for the reduced licence fee: www.liverpool.gov.uk/business/private-landlords/join-up/class-accreditation-scheme.
Landlords need to take action on or before 1st April 2015. Licence applications can be made online at: www.liverpool.gov.uk/landlordlicensing.