Licensing – shock news!

Liverpool City Council today made public the shock refusal by central government of the replacement of the current landlord licensing scheme. This comes after months of delays to the announcement of the new scheme.

The delays were most likely caused by Brexit, as the only barrier to the introduction of the scheme was central government (Sectretary of State) approval.

This comes as a mixed blessing. Landlords will be happy at the reduction in their costs, especially those with multiple properties. This change is set to save landlords over £25 million over the next five years. On the downside however, the scheme policed landlords fairly well, and it did ensure properties were (at point of application) compliant with gas and electrical safety. The scheme wasn’t without it’s faults – the cost was high, and there was a lack of pro-rata on the cost, so a landlord applying last week for a license would get a license for 3 months (the tail end of the scheme) at the same cost as someone paying for one 5 years ago.

We think we will find the local authority moving towards Additional Licensing Schemes that affect smaller parts of the city, thus avoiding the need to get central government approval. This is a step in the wrong direction in our view as it makes compliance harder (at the moment every house needs a license – by changing tack many landlords won’t know if they need a license, and will rely on the knowledge of agents and/or the local authority to tell them).

We will keep you updated on what happens next – an appeal will most likely take several months.

All the best,

The Topproperty Team

Published by: Simon Topple on January 13, 2020