New Licensing Rules See Councils Failing

Now Rooms Liverpool will work with landlords to ensure they are fully compliant with licensing rules. We have the experience and we keep up to date on all regulations. Recently, there were some changes made to licensing rules – one of which is the classification of HMO properties. Under these new rules, some councils are expecting an increase of over 1,000% of properties requiring a license.  That’s an incredible increase and most councils can’t keep up with the demand.

New rules brought in this October have dramatically increased the number of rental properties classed as ‘houses in multiple occupation’, which require the landlord to hold a specific licence with the local council. They come as part of a wide-ranging set of measures from the Government designed to stamp out overcrowding and stop rogue landlords from renting out properties in squalid conditions.

Not all local councils require a visit to the property as a matter of policy when processing a licence application – relying instead only on inspections that can be put off for up to five years. Paul Fitzgerald, chair of the National HMO Network, said: ‘Councils have limited resources and have to make a call about how they use them”. ‘The bottom line is that the Housing Act, in its current form, is no longer fit for purpose.’

Liverpool City Council had 1,195 HMOs with a mandatory licence before 1 October, and expects a further 4,000 will now require licensing. On one side, this new licensing scheme seems like a great idea in order to bring some rogue landlords to task for letting out inferior HMOs. On the other hand, if the councils aren’t prepared to enforce the rules, it seems like a money-grab. The idea is to see a class of professional landlords supported by central Government and local authorities. This would need resources that, apparently, councils do not have.

Row Rooms takes pride in the properties we manage. Rogue landlords that rent out properties in squalid conditions cannot be left to run amuck. It hurts the reputation of all landlords and of Liverpool. We will help you be compliant in your licensing requirements and the regulations that go along with that license and we will continue to be a voice for reform and support.