City unveils worst rental homes as it looks to extend licensing

A council has revealed the squalid conditions its inspectors have found when visiting rental properties as it looks to extend its landlord licensing scheme.

Liverpool City Council has operated a city-wide selective licensing scheme since April 2015 but is now looking to extend it for five years when it expires in March 2020.

Council officials say more rogue landlords have been prosecuted in Liverpool than anywhere else for failing to meet fire, and health and safety standards.

It said 3,000 significant hazards such as damp and mould, excess cold and fire have been identified since launching the scheme, while 2,000 legal notices have been issued, 154 cautions have been granted and 89 civil penalty notices have been handed down.

There have been 159 prosecutions for unlicensed properties, non-compliance of legal notices and breaches of licence conditions.

The new scheme, the council says, would charge £550 for a licence over the five years, or £350 for accredited landlords.

Those who are unlicensed or fail to meet minimum conditions would face prosecution or an unlimited fine of up to £30,000 per offence.

See some images that the council inspectors have taken of poor property conditions below.

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9 Comments

  1. Will2

    A balanced view then?

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    1. DarrelKwong43

      another council who think all agents and landlords are rogues

      just enforced all the current laws, and leave the good landlords/agents alone please

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  2. Deltic2130

    It’s OK, I’m sure all the good landlords they’ve found will be being praised soon.

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  3. Vanessa Warwick

    If there are such squalid conditions, I wonder why …

    1.  The tenant didn’t report the landlord to the local authority?

    2.  The local authority did not take action against the landlord for the disrepair?

    Landlord licensing is pointless unless it is enforced, which it generally isn’t.

    Rogues will not bother to get a licence and will continue to fly under the radar.

    All this emotive rhetoric about rogues serves no one other than the media who can grab eyeballs and stir up anti-landlord sentiment.

    It does nothing to improve conditions or encourage good quality landlords to remain in the sector.

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    1. Rent Rebel

                   “Landlord licensing is pointless unless it is enforced, which it generally isn’t”.

      Well, the article is about landlord licensing being enforced, yes. In Liverpool.

      “All this emotive rhetoric about rogues serves no one other than the media who can grab eyeballs and stir up anti-landlord
                    sentiment.”
      Oh dear. That really is some irrational victim complex you’ve got going on Vanessa. If these pictures of squalid living conditions stir-up any emotive sentiment in those reading then it’s quite obvious why that would be. But you must rally against licensing and enforcement because good landlords have to pay for it and that’s just “anti-landlord”. One wonders when you might grow up and start acting like a professional after all.

       

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      1. qweasdzxc

        The question I would be asking is how many of the cautions, penalty notices etc dealt with anything that could not have been dealt with using HHSRS (ignoring anything for not getting a licence)? When I asked the head of Oxford City Council’s HMO enforcement team this question about prosecutions for their additional licencing scheme they had not dealt with a single problem that couldn’t have been dealt with using HHSRS.

        OCC also do not bother looking for unlicensed landlords but rely on the public reporting them. There is no problem getting a list of all rented properties in the city – Letting Agents should give their list of properties to the Council if requested to do so (meets the Public Task & possibly Vital Interest basis for processing of GDPR) & SpareRoom have told me if the Council email them then they will provide them a list of all their advertisers.

        This is why most landlords will perceive licensing schemes as a bad thing. Good landlords pay for the chasing of bad landlords. Why should the good landlords (and indirectly their tenants) have to pay for the enforcement of the laws? Should only non-criminals have to pay the Police portion of Council Tax? Only someone who hasn’t been a victim of a fire pay for the Fire Brigade portion of Council Tax?

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  4. Woodentop

    Those are nothing to what many agents will have seen and walked away from! These types of landlords should be prohibited and zero price compulsory purchase, to state ownership on conviction? These are the types that are giving good and hard working landlords and agents a poor reputation. What I would like to now is how many licences issued to how many convictions … is this sensationalising a story by the council out of all proportion?

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  5. JMK

    Well what can I say?  My one and only housing benefit tenant is a single mother of 6.  You would not believe the wear and tear on the property.  I simply cannot keep up with it.  6 new internal doors fitted today and tomorrow but as she or the kids kicked in some of the others and 4 out of the 6 are off their hinges, I’m having fire doors fitted.  If she wants to kick those she’ll break her toes.

    A new kitchen was fitted just over a year ago and the kitchen ceiling was skimmed then too.  However she didn’t report a leak in the bathroom so a portion of the ceiling came down again and was repaired at my cost.  The kitchen is also already showing significant signs of wear.

    And as for the general state of the place.  It would compete with some of the pics here but it’s the way they choose to live.  Some tradespeople I use almost refuse to go round there.  One just stopped answering the phone knowing that I was calling about this property.

    Yes I absolutely know she should go!  However as the council have refused point blank to house the family the kids will be on the street, and I am not the one who likes the thought of that.  They’ve had a tough enough start in life as it is.

    HOWEVER if Government moves towards banning S21 I will issue one immediately.  As I expect that stupid idea to progress I don’t think it’ll be very long before I go down this route.  I’ve done my bit, somebody else can have the problem.

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  6. Will2

    Licensing is all about money funding for councils.  If this were not true ROGUE COUNCILS like Croydon would not have deemed their complete borough as an area of anti social housing.  So it seems their implication is that Croydon is a not a place to live. Moreover that the Council and the Metropolitian Police service have failed the borough completely if there is such widespread trouble.

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