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Landlords- Selective Licensing Is Returning to Liverpool April 2022 - Are You Prepared?

25th February 2022

Are you a landlord in Liverpool? 

If so, are you aware that in April 2022, selective licensing is returning to the borough? 

Today, we’re going to talk about what this change in legislation means, and the steps you can take to ensure that you remain compliant. Here at Concentric, our goal is to help landlords succeed by providing practical guidance surrounding each legislation update as well as helpful advice regarding overall best practices for landlords.  

What is Selective Licensing?

Selective licensing simply means that the city council has decided that they are going to selectively license a specific area. Thus, selective licensing in Liverpool means that the Liverpool City Council has agreed to selectively license a group of postal codes within the borough. In order to determine if this impacts you, you’ll need to see if you own any properties that fall within the range of postal codes that are covered by this new legislation. If you are a landlord in this area and you have a property from a one-bedroom flat all the way to an HMO, you may need a special license in order to continue letting that property.

What Does This Mean to You as a Landlord?

Now, we’re going to talk about what you need to do when selective licensing comes into place in Liverpool. Practically, this means that any property you rent that falls within the impacted area will need a special license as of April 2022 in order to be compliantly let. So, you’ll have to head to the Liverpool City Council and file applications, when the process is opened, for these licenses. There will be a cost element to this. You’re going to need to pay a fee to the Liverpool City Council in order to make the application for the license. Selective licensing is going to continue within Liverpool for the next 5 years until 2027.

Official guidance around the new law is still evolving, so we don’t yet know what the cost of licensing will actually be when selective licensing is rolled out. However, through experience with past licensing programs, we do know that there are many ways to secure discounts and reduce the licensing fee. This can be done by maintaining a good EPC rating, using accredited agents, and through other strategies. We recommend keeping an eye out for further updates on the Liverpool Government website. This is also the place to be when the application process opens for selective licensing. If you need help, contact us and we can help you with licensing applications.

How Do You Stay Compliant?

As of the time of this writing, the details of what will be specifically required to be compliant with this new legislation are not known, but we do know the general standards that have to be met in order to be compliant. There are a number of ways you can take care of your properties and ensure that you are always remaining compliant with the law. We’ve listed a few of them here:

  1. Have a valid gas certificate

  2. Have a valid electricity certificate
  3. Ensure that your EPC ratings are at ‘E’ or above
  4. Have your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors tested
  5. Ensure that your property is fit for habitation

By following these main steps, you can be confident that your property is already a long way towards full compliance. Previously, when the Liverpool City Council enacted selective licensing, they added some additional requirements. This was in 2015. They required things like changes to the tenancy agreements to incorporate anti-social behavior clauses as well as adequate refuse management at properties. Thus, additional requirements may also be a part of the new selective licensing law.

It’s important to remember that the purpose of selective licensing is to regenerate areas and make the private rented sector the best that it can be. If landlords take good care of their properties and ensure that their tenants use the property responsibly, you’re ahead of the curve.

Licensing in the Private Renting Sector is Serious

Most landlords are probably already aware of the importance of remaining in compliance with all of the relevant laws. The penalties for not doing so can be immense. Failure to comply with selective, additional, or mandatory licensing as a private landlord can result in penalties up to £30,000. If your property falls under the category of selective licensing after April 1st of 2022, and you are not in possession of the correct license, your rights to gain possession of your property could be negatively impacted.

We hope we’ve answered some of your questions about this important new legislation. If you’re a landlord in the Liverpool area and would like some additional information, please contact us and we will be happy to help you in any way we can, also we are running a live webinar on this topic, which you can register for HERE.

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