Government scraps Liverpool Landlord Licensing Scheme

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    Government scraps Liverpool Landlord Licensing Scheme

    The following article has appeared today in a Mortgage Advisor publication

    " Govt scraps Liverpool landlord licensing

    By Leah Milner 14th January 2020 9:49 am The UK’s largest landlord licensing scheme has been scrapped after the government refused an application to extend the initiative in Liverpool for a further five years.
    Liverpool City Council has required private landlords to secure a licence for their rental properties since 2015 under a scheme backed by both the police and fire service.
    Properties have to meet fire, electric and gas safety standards and the council carried out regular inspections to root out rogue landlords.
    But housing secretary Robert Jenrick has rejected the Council’s request to continue running the scheme for a further five years, according to The Liverpool Echo.
    Central government approval is needed for any licensing scheme that covers more than 20 per cent of properties in a local authority area.
    The Echo reports that 70 per cent of properties inspected in Liverpool have been found to be in breach of licence conditions, often because of electric and fire safety failings or cold.
    The council took more than 37,000 compliance actions, issued more than 2,500 legal and fixed penalty notices and prosecuted almost 250 landlords.
    Liverpool made up 389 per cent of the 460 per cent national rise in prosecutions between 2012 and 2018.
    However, the council will no longer have the same powers to carry out inspections and enforcement.
    Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “This decision is not only ill-thought through and short-sighted, it also puts the lives of some of our most vulnerable tenants at risk.
    “This decision flies in the face of the Government’s tough talk on housing standards, particularly around fire safety in rented properties.
    “Over the last five years our officers have come across people whose landlords are happy to take their rent while allowing them to live in appalling conditions with unsafe electrics, gas supply and no fire doors to protect them in the event that a blaze breaks out.
    “The Landlord Licensing scheme has enabled us to create a team to be able to hit the streets every day and carry out inspections of properties and bring rogue landlords to book. It is not just about raising housing standards – it is about protecting and saving lives.
    “This Government has already taken away £436 million of our funding since 2010 and is now weakening our power to improve housing standards for those who are part of generation rent to the bare minimum.”


    #2
    ""“Over the last five years our officers have come across people whose landlords are happy to take their rent while allowing them to live in appalling conditions with unsafe electrics, gas supply and no fire doors to protect them in the event that a blaze breaks out."""

    I'm all for having a (free) market that offfers save and great housing. However the debate we have is based on complete tripe....

    How many tenants died or were injured in a house fire that would have been prevented by more stringent licencing.

    I would suggest that the answer is "None"

    Unless someone can provide any actual examples over the past 5 years. In the meantime the provision of good quality housing is hampered and made much re costly as a result of jobsworth perspective-free idiots in Liverpool and elsewhere.

    So the government is right to curb the power of interfering (not safety enforcing) overpaid buffoons.



    Comment


      #3
      Death or injury is the wrong threshold, though.
      These are people's homes, they should feel safe.

      So the threshold is "unsafe", not "actually causing injury or death".
      Similarly, People are charged with dangerous driving because they've put people at risk, not because it's actually injured or killed someone, Assault doesn't require actual battery and so on.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        Yes but it has to bear some relation to the real world (not only the thing being protected, but also the benefit of the legislation).

        There is massive evidence that if the general speed limit were increased to 100Mph many deaths would result. There is also massive evidence that if speed limits were not enforced at all, the effect would be the same.

        There is absolutely zero evidence in the present case. Nor (for the same reason, absent evidence) should anyone with any degree of intellect feel safer.

        Anyhow, legislation is not about making people "feel" better (because they are lied to).

        Liverpool said "to protect them" they did not say "to make them feel as if they are being protected even though the impact on their likely lifespan is zero". Imagine the NHS were to work that way (but that is a whole other story).

        Comment


          #5
          If something makes people feel safe (and, as you point out, they probably are safe anyway) that's a good thing, surely?

          And I hope there is no evidence that increasing the speed limit to 100 kills people, the ethics of that experiment would be terrible!
          Last edited by jpkeates; 14-01-2020, 16:49 PM. Reason: added 2nd para
          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

          Comment


            #6
            Would be happy to pay the same baffoons to come and inspect your own house so they can tell you it's safe? Or would you think it's a waste of money?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by royw View Post
              Would be happy to pay the same baffoons to come and inspect your own house so they can tell you it's safe? Or would you think it's a waste of money?
              That's apples and oranges.

              I know what works being done on my own home and I control what gets fixed and who I choose to fix it.
              And, it's well maintained and in good nick.
              Anything that needs doing gets done.
              So I feel pretty safe here.


              A tenant doesn't know the history of their property, doesn't control what work is done and by whom and lots of rental property isn't in good nick or well maintained.
              Not everything that needs doing gets done.
              So they don't feel so safe.

              So yes, I think it would be a waste of money getting someone to inspect my own home, but the reason that's the case doesn't apply to rental properties.
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                I would doubt that the breaches of licence conditions found during the inspections were really serious or imminent dangers to the tenant. If that were the case then the landlord would probably not have registered in the first place, but just kept their head down. That's why licensing is such a poor mechanism for "bringing rogue landlords to book"

                Comment


                  #9
                  Depends on what you mean by rogue landlords.
                  In my book, rogue landlords are crooks who aren't going to be affected by any regulations, good or bad.

                  The targets for the licensing schemes are the landlords who aren't crooks, just cheap and/or ignorant.

                  They can be overzealous, but on the numerous occasions someone posts about a Local Authority notice or I get contacted by people directly, there's always a list of things that need sorting amongst a list of nice to haves.
                  I've never seen an instance of a decent landlord with decently maintained property being wrongly targetted.

                  A number of my family members rent their homes and some of the properties they've been offered are genuinely shocking.
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                    In my book, rogue landlords are crooks who aren't going to be affected by any regulations, good or bad.

                    The targets for the licensing schemes are the landlords who aren't crooks, just cheap and/or ignorant.
                    The comment about "bringing rogue landlords to book" is a direct quote attributed to Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson in Loanarrangers post. I think that this is one of the problems, they often don't know who the target should be and present it to their constituents and the Government as an attempt to tackle rogue, (criminal) landlords, whereas the reality is they mainly dredge up largely compliant landlords who haven't given the tenant a rent book or a copy of an anti-social behaviour policy. I accept, of course that there will be a few that let properties in poor condition. However, the real criminals continue to operate below the radar and employ increasingly sophisticated mechanisms to avoid prosecution if they are ever caught.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
                      they often don't know who the target should be and present it to their constituents and the Government as an attempt to tackle rogue, (criminal) landlords, whereas the reality is they mainly dredge up largely compliant landlords who haven't given the tenant a rent book or a copy of an anti-social behaviour policy.
                      Couldn't agree more.

                      If you're dealing with criminals, the last thing they care about is the law or its penalties.
                      Pretty much the only thing they consider is the likelihood of being caught.
                      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        We need the actual data.
                        then we need to do the same inspections on owner occupied homes and see if there's a difference.

                        For instance, my own house is unsafe. Because I removed the auto closures on the doors (required under the building regs when we hg ad a loft conversion) because the Cat, kept getting trapped in the bedrooms.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          My home's not safe either because I don't have a breather block in the wall for my coal fire
                          (This means the fire can burn up all the oxygen and I might die)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post
                            (This means the fire can burn up all the oxygen and I might die)
                            Whoever installed the fire should be prosecuted.

                            The problem isn't that you might die - which is a remote possibility, but that the combination of reduced oxygen and high particulate content of the air is potentially really bad for your heath.
                            It's not something you'd notice (unlike having no oxygen and dropping dead), but is quite likely to have a long term impact.
                            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                              Not everything that needs doing gets done.
                              thought u said something else there

                              Comment

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