NLA welcomes licensing concessions

The National Landlords Association is claiming a victory for landlords in Liverpool after the city council announced two alterations to the citywide licensing scheme.

The NLA released a statement last week calling for the council to delay the launch of the scheme which is due to go live on 1 April, and said that the current online application "would put every landlord in Liverpool in breach of the law".

The council refused the request to postpone the launch, but has made an offline application form available, and has said that landlords will not be charged a higher fee for using it. The council has not yet announced what the fee will be.

From 1 April it will be a legal requirement for all private residential landlords in Liverpool to have a five-year licence for each of their rented properties.

Landlords are being told to go online and complete the first part of the application process at www.liverpool.gov.uk/landlordlicensing before 1 April, including their contact details and the properties they intend to licence.

The licence fee will cost £400 for each property and landlords with more than one property will pay £350 for each additional home.

Members of an accredited or co-regulation scheme approved by the council such as CLASS will pay £200 for each property to recognise that they are already a good landlord.

Richard Lambert, chief executive at the NLA, said: "These two concessions from LCC represent a significant victory for landlords in Liverpool.

"The council has changed its original process to make it possible for landlords to apply for a licence using its offline process, and has scrapped its intention to charge a higher fee for using this route.

"We are still concerned that LCC's online registration form is unlawful and places landlords at some degree of risk, so our advice remains that landlords should avoid that route at all costs and instead download an application form to be on the safe side.

"The full application form was only made available last week, and we think it would be fairer to postpone the scheme's launch to give landlords time to complete their applications. However, on the advice of our lawyers, we will not press this point further."

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