Liverpool City Council has created a partnership with three organisations representing letting agents and landlords with the aim of driving up standards in the private rented residential sector.
The co-regulation agreement commits members to providing high standards of housing, meaning that they comply with the conditions of the council’s mandatory Landlord Licensing scheme. It requires all landlords in the city to have a five-year licence for each of their rented properties.
The agreement means that property owners represented by each of the organisations will get a 50% discount on the fee and pay £200 per property, rather than the standard rate of £400 for the first and £350 for each subsequent home.
The organisations that have signed up for co-regulation are:
- Association of Residential Letting Agents
- National Approved Letting Scheme
- Residential Landlords Association
Cllr Frank Hont, Cabinet member for housing, said: “When we launched the Landlord Licensing scheme we were clear that we wanted to work with the private rented sector to help them comply with the scheme, and find ways of giving discounts to those that are committed to meeting the standards.
“I am delighted that ARLA, NALS and the RLA have all come on board. It is a win-win for everyone, because their members benefit from a reduced fee and we are able to target our resources at those landlords who we know aren’t meeting the standards.
“This is all part of our drive to improve the quality of housing in the city and make sure that our residents have access to good quality accommodation.”
Almost 8,500 landlords responsible for around 39,500 properties have so far started the application process for the scheme, which came into effect in April 2015. The council has also started to issue the first batch of licences which will be followed by compliance checks to ensure licence conditions are being met and standards maintained.
In addition, both current and prospective tenants can access a database at www.liverpool.gov.uk/landlordlicensing to see if their landlord has started the application process, and can let the council know if it is not on the database.
Landlords are being urged to log on to complete the first part of the application process if they have not yet done so.
Landlord licensing has the backing of campaign groups including Shelter and Generation Rent.