A landlord has become the first to be prosecuted for not signing up to Liverpool council’s new landlord licensing scheme which has been introduced in an effort to drive up standard’s in the city’s private rented sector.
Brendan Vance, of The Orchard in Huyton, yesterday pleaded guilty at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court for failing to commit to the scheme, which was introduced last April and costs £400 for a five-year license per property, with an extra £350 payable for each subsequent let.
The failure to license his rental property on Onslow Road, L6, landed Vance a £1,000 fine in addition to the council’s legal costs of £734.56, as well as a £100 victim surcharge.
The landlord was initially fined £1,500 for the unlicensed property but this was reduced by 50% due to his guilty plea after he admitted ignoring numerous letters from Liverpool council in relation to his rental property.
To gain a licence, landlords must meet health and safety guidelines and ensure that they keep the exterior of their property in ‘a good state of repair’. Under the terms of the licensing scheme, they must also deal with complaints about anti-social behaviour caused by tenants.
Councillor Ann O'Byrne warned other landlords in Liverpool that they have had “ample time to sign up to the scheme” and that the council is “now taking action against those who are ignoring the law”.
“We are willing to hit landlords hard in the pocket,” she added.