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Yet More Landlord Licensing: another council ponders controls

Landlords providing accommodation on the Wirral are likely to get further licensing as a new consultation goes ahead. 

The proposals suggest continuing the existing Selective Licensing scheme in two areas and introducing licensing for private sector landlords in two further areas from 2024 until 2029.

Selective Licensing requires landlords in these areas to obtain a licence to operate and agree to a range of conditions around the standards of their accommodation. A council statement claims: “The aim is to drive up the quality of rented accommodation in parts of Birkenhead and Wallasey.”


The scheme is focused on areas where there is a higher-than-average number of private rented properties available, a higher turnover of tenants and poorer property conditions.

The four areas being consulted upon are Birkenhead West; Seacombe St Pauls; Bidston and St James West; and Egremont North. The latter two areas are where the new schemes are proposed, the first two have already been subject to Selective Licensing since 2019.

As Selective Licensing schemes have a maximum duration of five years, the council says it has to make a robust case for extending an existing scheme – or introducing new ones – and consultation with residents, tenants and landlords is part of that process.

Wirral introduced Selective Licensing in 2015 covering four small parts of the borough. That initial programme ran until 2020 and resulted in 57 individual prosecutions for landlords who failed to get a licence or other Housing Act 2004 offences.

So far under the second scheme, running from 2019 until 2024, there have been 18 successful prosecutions and one Landlord Banning Order confirmed after an appeal. Thanks to Covid, no inspections could be carried out between March 2020 and September 2021.

A council spokesperson says: As part of the consultation, residents will also be asked their views on a range of new policies and procedures relating to powers to regulate private landlords who fail their tenants including amongst others banning orders, use of the national rogue landlord database and rent repayment orders.”

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  • icon

    This is another move that will not help tenants. It is folly to make it more expensive for Landlords to let out property at the very time that they will be considering ceasing being landlords due to the impending change in the law. It will backfire on the local authorities as they will have to pay to rehouse the tenants made homeless and unable to find anywhere else to live because nobody will be willing to let out their properties.

  • icon

    Licensing has nothing to do with residents, the tick box application is purely within the property and the safety of it. A back door money grabber for the councils to fight anti social behaviour which is rampant in poorer areas.

  • icon

    Councils that put these in are all as THICK AS TWO SHORT PLANKS! It will only drive rents higher as landlords will pass the cost on to tenants. Or LL will sell up as they have had enough. And what will the council spend Allllllll this money on? Lining their own nests I bet. A new desk and office chair?

  • George Dawes

    Money for old rope springs to mind


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