In January 2020 the then-Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick rejected the council’s bid to get a five year extension to its previous scheme, provoking widespread criticism from the Labour party in the city.
At the time the council claimed that 70 per cent of inspected properties in Liverpool had been found to be in breach of their licence condition since the original landlord licensing scheme was launched in 2015 “uncovering serious hazards such as fire risks, poor electrics and excess cold.”
Eventually a compromise was reached and a new licensing scheme introduced last April. It covers 45,000 homes but is still much smaller than the local authority initially wanted.
Now - in a sign that the council may be having difficulties getting landlords on board - the discount period has been extended.
Landlords signing up before the end of July will benefit from a saving which will take the total cost of a five-year licence down to £380 per property, rather than £550.
Early adopters can also get a £50 discount for each property with an Energy Performance Certificate rating of C or above, and a £50 discount on all properties licensed by the same licence holder, in the same block of flats.
There’s also a £30 discount for each property if the licence holder has an active membership of a housing-related professional body like the NRLA.
To date, over 18,000 applications have been received and after the end of the extended early bird discount period, the council says it will start its investigations into any potentially unlicensed properties and take action where appropriate.
The Liverpool councillor responsible for housing - Sarah Doyle - says: “Thousands of landlords have already come forward but we know there are many others who haven’t yet started the application process.
“We have therefore decided to extend the period in which they can get a discount. It can save them a considerable amount of money, particularly if they have several properties.
“Landlord Licensing is now mandatory, meaning it is legally enforceable. If they don’t sign up, they risk being taken to court and facing a fine much greater than the cost of a licence.
“It is really important because too many vulnerable people in our city are in poor housing conditions. The money we raise gives us the ability to enforce standards, taking action when concerns are raised.
“Under the previous scheme, council intervention forced bad landlords into taking action to improve their properties, and we want to build on this success.”
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