It has been announced that from 1st April 2015 ALL private landlords with properties in Liverpool (not Sefton or Knowsley) must apply for a five-year licence for each of their rented properties. The scheme is being introduced in Liverpool under the Government’s selective licensing laws and signing up for it is compulsory.
I am part of the Liverpool City Council ‘Landlord Advisory Panel’ (LAP) and my blog below will provide all of the latest updates.
Should you have any questions on the scheme please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is worth pointing out that there are a series of FAQs that may already answer some of your questions.
LATEST UPDATE 24th July 2015
Quick update following yesterday’s Liverpool City Council Landlord Advisory Panel meeting.
- Still no news on when to expect the electronic versions of the application forms.
- Out of the 750 or so paper applications received 82% were completed incorrectly and have been returned.
- We’re expecting an announcement on the approved co-regulation schemes imminently.
- Categorically denied that a deal had been struck with any agent in exchange for discounted fees. Discounts will only come into play once co-regulation has been approved. If you are a landlord that has been charged a fee it might be worth questioning it.
- We had a look at the draft plans on how to deal with unlicensed properties. The penalties include;
– A fine up to £20,000
– Additional Admin Fees
– A Rent Repayment Order (must repay 12 months rent back to the tenant)
– Restrictions on terminating tenancies (unable to evict by the section 21 procedure)
07594 339 653
LATEST UPDATE 19th March 2015
This morning I took further time out of my day to attend another meeting with LCC. The main topic on the agenda was the proposed introduction of a co-regulatory partnership with certain relevant bodies and what this will entail.
I will not go into the finer points of co-regulation as it will only confuse matters. If you are an organisation interested in becoming a co-regulatory partner then feel free to give me a call and I will point you in the right direction.
* An updated copy of the licence conditions are to be released imminently.
*The most notable expected change affects the requirements surrounding electricity certificates.
*An Electrical Appliance Test will only be required ‘upon request’ as oppose to upon application.
If you are requested to provide one you will be provided with sufficient time to obtain one before submitting it. This is a significant change.
*The crackdown on unlicensed properties is going to be serious.
Before today’s meeting I had my doubts over the lengths that LCC would go to in order to find unlicensed properties. Trust me they have a plan and they will be cracking down on them.
HOMEsure Managed Properties – AN UPDATED ACTION PLAN
WE will be registering all of the properties that we manage with LCC at the start of next week.
If you have any objections to this and would sooner register them yourself e-mail email@example.com straight away saying so.
The registering of the property is NOT the licensing of the property.
The licensing forms will be sent out in waves at some point after 1st April.
There are still a lot of 50/50 decisions within LCC to be made or announced. Until these decisions are released I cannot advise any further with regards to who should be the named licence holder (You or HOMEsure).
It is looking likely that, as a NALS accredited agent, all of our managed properties will receive the full 50% licensing fee discount.
To qualify for this discount the licence for your property would have to be in our name.
As confirmation of this is yet to be announced I hope that you can see why I cannot advise any further on the best person to be the named licence holder.
PLEASE NOTE that if we register the property on your behalf you can still licence it in your name. You do not need to worry about this for now.
Guaranteeing Your Discount
No organisations outside of LCC can provide a discount on your licensing fee.
It looks likely that all agents registered with NALS or ARLA will be able to provide a discount but this is yet to be confirmed.
Either all NALS & ARLA agents will be able to provide a discount or none will.
You can guarantee your discount by registering with CLASS.
You will need to provide a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate, PIR (Electricity Certificate) & Energy Performance Certificate.
I can no longer register anymore properties for CLASS.
If, as previously requested, you have completed my information form and I have a copy of the certificates in my possession i will register them for you.
If you have not or i do not have the certificates you will need to complete the application yourself.
You can register for CLASS by clicking this link
07594 339 653
UPDATE 17th March 2015
Remember that to guarantee the reduced £200 rate you must sign up to the CLASS REGISTER. by 31st March!
If you miss this date you will not receive your discount.
If we manage your property, you have a current Periodic Installation Report for the electrics and you have completed THIS FORM. we will apply on your behalf.
If you have not completed THIS FORM. please do so ASAP.
UPDATE 16th March 2015
LICENSING TO GO AHEAD AS PLANNED
E-Mail Received From Liverpool City Council This Afternoon
We have received a number of enquiries since last week’s announcement by the Housing and Planning Minister, Brandon Lewis, with regard to Selective Licensing.
Please note that our scheme is not affected by the recent announcement requiring councils to gain permission for the introduction of Landlord Licensing from the Department for Communities and Local Government. The Government has confirmed that our scheme can come into force as planned from April 1st 2015 because we took a decision to introduce it before the rule changes were announced.
Pretty conclusive. More news to follow……..
UPDATE 13th March 2015
WOW! Is the whole Citywide Licensing scheme going to be kicked out before it even begins?
When reading reports in yesterday’s Echo. that Liverpool Council are “looking ‘very closely’ at landlord licensing after letter from Government” I quickly dismissed the issue (I actually spoke to one or two of you about it and stated that I couldn’t see it changing anything.
Having now read the letter sent by Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning, to all of the local authorities I have changed my mind slightly.
It is going to be very interesting to see how LCC react to this. At this stage I would hate to make a prediction.
As it stands we must work on the basis that Citywide Licensing is still going to go ahead. If anything changes in the future then fine, but rather than losing anytime we must push ahead with the registrations.
HOMEsure Managed Properties
If your property is managed by HOMEsure please complete THIS FORM.
By completing THIS FORM. you will save Nick, myself and most importantly you a decent amount of time when it comes to the full licensing process.
I still do not have all of the answers to some questionable issues. I have spoken to LCC today and they have said that they will be able to clarify some of them on Monday. Further updates to follow………
Likewise who is to be the named licence holder (you or HOMEsure) is still not clear. As it stands the licence is non-transferable so if we are the named licence holder you are effectively tied in to our service for 5 years (you will have to purchase a new licence if you leave us). The obvious flaws in this have been pointed out to the council and the ruling is likely to change however I cannot guarantee this.
Be careful if your agent is completing your licence application for you. Remember that, as it stands, if they put it in their name you will be effectively tied into them for 5 years.
If you are considering changing or employing a managing agent complete THIS FORM. or give me a ring on 07594 339 653.
That’s all for now.
Update 9th March 2015
Following Thursday’s LAP meeting there are still some issues that remain clarifying with regards to the licence process.
Although unconfirmed, it is possible that all of our managed properties will receive the discounted £200 rate. (A 60% discount in terms of the originally proposed £500 fee!)
Unless you are specifically interested I will not go into the ins & outs of this as talks are still on going with LCC and the other relevant bodies.
NO AGENT OR ORGANISATION outside of LCC has been approved for co-regulation, & with it the discounted rate, and will not be so until the paperwork has been approved.
This is likely to be sometime after April.
You can guarantee receiving the discounted £200 rate by signing up to be a CLASS-accredited landlord.
If HOMEsure Property currently manages your property and you already have/are happy to obtain a full Electrical Installation and Appliance report then we can have a conversation about getting your properties registered.
As, at this stage, I cannot guarantee any discounts my advice is to make the minimum £100 payment upon the completion of your application and the remainder at the end of year deadline.
This will allow the maximum time frames to obtain the possible discounts.
As it stands the only properties managed by HOMEsure that are exempt to licensing are HMOs.
Further properties (such as those on long term leases to social landlords) may be exempt but this is yet to be confirmed.
If in doubt, register your property with the scheme. All exemptions will be clarified prior to the full application process commencing.
What you need to do next
If your properties are managed by HOMEsure Property, we will send out a form for your completion later on this week.
Following this Nick or I will be in touch with you to discuss what to do next.
Do not register your properties with the council until we next update you.
If you self-manage your property, register all of your properties by 1st April here.
Upon applying for a licence, you will be required to provide a current copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), Gas Safety Certificate & Electrical Appliance Test.
If you do not possess any of these you are best putting the wheels in motion to acquire them immediately – especially as you are seriously breaking the law if you do not have a current Gas Safety Certificate!
From 1st April 2015, LCC will send out their licensing forms.
These will be in batches so some of you may receive them from the start of the month and others a few weeks later.
Upon receipt of these forms you will have a further month to complete them.
Properties not managed by HOMEsure Property?
Why not?! Have you seen our reviews??
Regardless, NOW IS THE TIME TO SWITCH AGENT or HIRE AN AGENT.
YOU are accountable for your property and are liable for fines caused by any breaches of the regulations.
How does your agent fair on the AllAgents Review site?
Do you trust them to fulfill all of the criteria?
As an example how confident are you that all of the smoke alarms are working in your properties? Do you receive a copy of the quarterly inspection reports?
If you self-manage your properties, do you really keep up with the ever changing rules and regulations?
Protect yourself by choosing a NALS- or ARLA-accredited agent.
The vast majority of agents in the city (including some of the larger ones) are not regulated by either organisation.
Are you sure that your agent has protected your deposit correctly?
Existing clients of HOMEsure Property
If you have any contacts/know anyone with property in Liverpool who you think will benefit from our services, please tell them to get in touch with me on 07594 339 653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We don’t advertise. We’d rather give our marketing budget to our existing clients in return for referrals/introductions, so we will pay you £100 for each of your contacts managed properties that you refer to us!
If you have any properties within your portfolio that we do not manage then now is a good time to transfer them over.
With the ever increasing regulations it is worthwhile putting your entire portfolio in the hands of professionals.