Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Register demanded to net rogue landlords

A report by a landlord representative body fails to defend deregulation of private renting and only reinforces the case for a national landlords register, a campaign group has said.

The Residential Landlords Association's report - 'The impact of regulation on the private rented sector' - claims that current regulations are failing to achieve their aims.

However, though Generation Rent (GR) agrees that existing regulations are not working, the campaign group has said that a national register of landlords would help to improve conditions for tenants.

The RLA's report, written by Professor Michael Ball of Henley Business School, makes several points that GR has taken issues with, including:

  • “Registration schemes can never be comprehensive because they face the fundamental information problem of not knowing what properties are rented out by whom.”

GR claims that saying there is lack of data in the industry, and that it is difficult to enforce against the worst offenders only proves the need for a comprehensive landlord register.

  • "Operating costs “range up to 30-40% of gross rents”

GR says the regulatory ‘burden’ is illusory – all businesses have running costs, and being a private landlord is a highly profitable one.

  • “The sensible way to evaluate any proposal aimed at regulating the PRS is to undertake a cost-benefit analysis (CBA), comparing the costs, direct and indirect, with the value of the benefits expected to be achieved.”

According to GR, Professor Ball’s own cost-benefit analysis claims that tenancy deposit schemes cost £276m but the only benefit is the £7m in deposits that are recovered by tenants as a result of the scheme.

Alex Hilton, GR director, said: “RLA wants you to pity poor, over-regulated landlords but the reality is that it’s harder to open a commercial kennel than to let a house to humans. The evidence is that private renting is one of the most profitable businesses that you can run and it’s about time there was a fair balance between the rights of renters and landlords.”

Click here to read the original article: "Register demanded to net rogue landlords"

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Fire brigade worried about London's 'hidden homes'

Thousands of people in London are living in hidden homes - often in disturbing conditions - because they cannot afford to live elsewhere.

The BBC has found people paying to live in shop storerooms, above car repair garages, on industrial estates and in former warehouses.

This shadow housing market is causing London Fire Brigade "grave concerns".

In the past nine months, firefighters have attended 36 fires in such places and two people have died.

Carlo moved to London from Spain four years ago in search of a better life for his two teenage daughters.

Now all three share a cramped room above a car repair shop on an industrial estate in north-west London.

They are 20 residents sharing eight rooms and a kitchen, while mechanics work on customers' vehicles below.

"I looked for a two-bedroom flat, but it's too expensive - the rent, the deposit. Now I live just in this room, little room, and I pay £433 every month - with no furniture," said Carlo.

His daughters, now aged 18 and 21, sleep in bunk beds in the same room. The only other furniture is a small fridge, and there is mould on the walls.

Tim Bolt, planning enforcement manager for Brent Council, told BBC Radio Four's Face The Facts programme that homes hidden away on industrial estates and within commercial property were an increasing problem.

For the past few years he and his team have been attempting to crack down on so-called "beds in sheds" and have issued more than 100 enforcement notices following investigations, which often begin with tip-offs from neighbours.

He says his job is getting harder: "One of the problems we've had in investigating this type of accommodation is that a lot of it has been hidden away.

"Unlike if it's in a predominately residential area, in industrial areas people are not interested in reporting it."

Mr Bolt says: "The people living in these places - factories and industrial units - are often vulnerable and quite a few them don't speak English or speak very broken English. They have difficulty finding work and they are often reliant on their landlords for work."

But it is not just migrant workers who find themselves having to endure what can be squalid living conditions.

For almost a year Erin, 24, lived on a houseboat on the Thames - paying £250 a month for a makeshift cabin aboard an old converted grain barge.

She came to London looking for work in the television industry, but the friend who offered a couch to sleep on moved.

"The boat is about 60ft [18m] long and basically has a house built on to it made out of scrap wood and metal. Some of the ceilings are even made out of old doors," she says.

It is one of three boats, moored together, which house up to 32 people.

Mains electricity is provided for just a few hours a day, thanks to a generator.

There is a camping shower, but hot water comes from boiling a kettle.

"At first I thought I'd take it on the chin - but then when it started raining a lot more and the weather got worse, the conditions got really unbearable. The walls leaked water, the carpet on the floor was wet for five months. It was so cold that you couldn't fall asleep and you could see your breath in your room," says Erin.

She says she suffered anxiety and depression as a result of her experience and, after months of saving, has now moved to a small flat-share.

Her former landlord says he has been working to improve conditions on the boats and was pleased the barges could offer people "shelter and get them on their feet out when they could afford little else".

In Hackney Wick, in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium, dozens of former factories and warehouses now house what is said to be the biggest creative community in Europe.

The residents are attracted by large spaces at relatively low rents.

Isobel, 27, lives in one former factory, which she shares with 11 others. Breeze-block walls divide the building into living spaces.

"It does feel like a warehouse but that's part of the attraction. You can take the space and do with it what you like - we've even built new rooms," she says.

Isobel says she has permission to live where she does, but Face The Facts has spoken to others who lived in buildings deemed to be for industrial use only but where landlords were creating other hidden homes.

"The building was so badly maintained because there was always that excuse, 'Oh you're not supposed to be living there,'" says Alex.

He says: "There were a lot of rats in the building. One day these rats just started dying in the walls and in the pipes because of the poison, and there was this horrible smell in our bathroom. And then eventually there was this trail of blood that came down the wall and it was it was really really grim. We went to the caretaker and he was just like, 'What do you want me to do about it?'"

The owner of the building told the BBC he would evict anyone he found living there and the LFB are now happy with the fire-safety precautions taken.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said the government had made £6m available to local authorities to "root out the cowboys" and 950 illegal and overcrowded commercial properties had been uncovered as a result.

But Rita Dexter, deputy commissioner of the LFB, does not believe the problem will go away in the near future.

She says: "Fundamentally there are many many people looking for places to live in London and it doesn't seem to me that that will diminish in the short term. We are very concerned about what is next in terms of what people will design as places for people to live.

"Ingenuity is one word for it. In our organisation we call it risk."

Click here to read the original article: "Fire brigade worried about London's 'hidden homes'"

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Campaigners demand closure of ‘unscrupulous landlord' loophole

A campaign group has demanded that the government closes a loophole that allows “unscrupulous landlords to run off” with their tenants’ security deposits.

The call from Generation Rent follows the case of Daniel Burton, a rent-to-rent landlord who was expelled from a tenancy deposit protection scheme.

The scheme allowed the landlord to keep his tenants’ deposits, which meant that they were not protected when he was expelled from the scheme and subsequently went bust, owing 160 tenants around £140,000.

A Channel 4 News investigation revealed that Burton’s business, Unida Place, sub-let rooms to renters and went into liquidation in August 2013, leaving many of its tenants out of pocket.

Burton promised to pay the money back in November, but some tenants are still waiting to be reimbursed, according to the report.

Generation Rent says that the case raises serious doubts about the effectiveness of government-backed tenancy deposit schemes.

While one of the three different schemes provides the option to hold the tenant’s money in a neutral account, the two other schemes, including MyDeposits, run by the National Landlords Association (NLA), allows landlords to keep the money, in return for insurance payments.

If the landlord fails to comply with the scheme, such as in Burton’s case, the insurance becomes void and the deposit is not protected.

Generation Rent wants the government to review the deposit protection system to ensure that tenants’ money is not put at risk should their landlord fail to comply with the rules.

And it is also calling on the NLA to pay back any money that has not been adequately protected. 

Generation Rent additionally wants a national register of landlords to ensure that all tenants can check if their landlord is bona fide and legitimately letting the property.

Alex Hilton, director of Generation Rent, said: “More than two thirds of renters have no choice but to rent privately, which means they are easy prey for unscrupulous landlords and letting agents who enjoy Wild West levels of regulation. What regulation there is – to protect tenants’ deposits – now appears to be flawed. The nine million people living in the private rented sector deserve a market that works for them, instead of exploiting them.”

Click here to read the original article: "Campaigners demand closure of ‘unscrupulous landlord' loophole"

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Convictions up for landlords failing to report rental revenue

HMRC is trawling through the buy-to-let sector, and already has seven convictions as a result of criminal investigations into landlords who have not declared rental incomes from let properties, says Mhairi Lees, tax supervisor at Alexander Sloan.

The UK residential property letting market is rich and varied these days, with a huge range of people, from professional landlords to individual second home owners, deriving an often very satisfactory income from it.

The most recent government estimates are that there are up to 1.5m residential landlords. Many will have substantial portfolios and run their properties as a mainstream business. Others may have inherited a property, bought one for student offspring or entered into a personal relationship which meant one partner’s property was surplus to requirements and could be rented out.

Whatever the reason, all these rental properties have one thing in common - they earn money for the owners and are liable to tax.

The strong and unwavering spotlight of HMRC is being turned at the moment on landlords big and small who, by accident or design, have failed to fully declare all their rental income.

The Let Property Campaign, which is running currently, is the latest in a series of anti-tax avoidance measures being taken by HMRC designed to help people to bring their tax affairs up to date, keep them that way and stop them getting it wrong in the first place.

Since 2007, HMRC campaigns - on themes such as property sales, direct selling and undeclared overseas income- have collected more than £552m in tax from people who became compliant and more than £224m from a large number of follow-up activities.

There are a number of criminal investigations underway and seven people have been convicted already, with custodial sentences handed out of up to two years. Those convicted have between them had to pay more than £550,000.

Marian Wilson, head of HMRC Campaigns, said: ‘All rent from letting out a residential property or holiday home has to be declared for Income Tax purposes. Telling us is simple and straightforward.

‘We appreciate some people will have made honest mistakes, and some may not be fully aware that the rent from a property is taxable, and that is why it always makes sense to talk to us so we can help. It is always cheaper to come forward voluntarily and pay the tax you owe, rather than wait for HMRC to come calling.

‘Telling HMRC about your tax liabilities is simple and straightforward, and help, advice and support are available. The message for all landlords owing tax is simple – it is better to come to us before we come to you.’

Keeping affairs in order

The Let Property Campaign, which was announced last summer, started officially in December 2013 and it has at least 18 months to run.

When HMRC runs a campaign of this nature, landlords would be well advised to take it very seriously and make sure their affairs are in order.

The campaign is in the early stages, but it is gearing up steadily and there is little doubt that the investigative officers of HMRC will already have a substantial database of people with whom they would like to have a chat. HMRC will have obtained information from a variety of sources including letting agents, adverts (online and in the press) and also the Land Registry.

If landlords feel that they may owe tax - whether through a misunderstanding of the rules or for any other reason - now is the time act. It is important to remember that even if after deducting all your property expenses you are making a loss you still need to declare the activity to the HMRC. This will also allow you to secure these losses to be offset against any future profits.

The opportunity to come forward voluntarily is time-limited, but those who do so will obtain the best possible terms for any possible payments.

Click here to read the original article: "Convictions up for landlords failing to report rental revenue"

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

When TDS unfairly find for the tenants at adjudication

The following article is from the Landlord-Law Blog.

Here is a question to the blog clinic from Patty (not her real name) who is a landlord:

After a deposit was lodged with the TDS, and the correct paperwork served, the exiting tenants put in a claim.

The deposit was £620.

The case went to adjudication, and it was ruled that all of deposit should be returned to tenants.

This happened even though the landlord had submitted evidence that all of the deposit had been used to clear up bills left by the tenant. There was also a cleaning bill, from a professional company who had to clean the property from top to bottom, after the tenants left it in a dreadful state.

All monies spent were supported by invoices.

There was an electricity bill of over £200, cleaning bill of £100, sceptic tank emptying of around £50, and the list goes on.Should a landlord now have to pay the daily living costs left unpaid by tenants. Surely this is what a deposit is for – to prevent the Landlord being left out of pocket ?

I understand from the TDS, that the decision of the adjudicator cannot be reversed – so where does this leave the Landlord ?

A complaint has gone in to the TDS, in line with their own prescribed procedure. I await their findings.

They continue to send requests for the £620 to be paid to them for return to the tenants and they now threaten legal action on the Landlord if the money is not sent.

As the landlord – I am now not only out of pocket, but face legal action by the TDS, – I would rather let this one get taken to court than have to unfairly pay the bills left tenants.

Are then any cases like this – where unfair adjudication has ben addressed by the courts ? Or indeed cases where evidence supplied has been totally ignored ?

You don’t say why TDS found for the tenants.

Adjudication is a legal process and has to follow certain rules.  The underlying rule is that the deposit is the tenant’s money and so the landlord has to prove ‘on the balance of probability’ that he is legally entitled to make a deduction before the adjudicator will rule in his favour.

There are always two elements to a claim:

  • Liability and
  • Quantum


This is about whether the tenant is liable for the item claimed by the landlord.

A common reason why tenants are not found liable for claims is because the tenancy agreement does not include a clause authorising the landlord to make deductions from the deposits.

Or the clause in the tenancy agreement may not authorise the particular item the landlord is claiming for.


This is about whether the actual sum charged by the landlord is reasonable.

So if a carpet was soiled, an adjudicator may consider that a claim for replacing the whole carpet is unreasonable if it could have been cleaned.

Or, if replacement is allowable, the cost may be considered too high (for example if a tatty old carpet is replaced by a high quality persian rug).

Or there may be an element of ‘betterment’ if an old carpet is replaced by a new one, and awards are often reduced to take account of the expected usable life of the old carpet.


Finally there is the question of whether you followed the proper procedure in submitting your evidence.

For example if it was submitted too late it will not be taken into account.

Also – you say you have invoices. Presumably copies of these were actually submitted to the adjudicator?


Although the decisions made by adjudicators often seem unfair, there is almost always a legal reason why they came to the decision that they did.

This is why it is important that landlords take care when submitting their evidence.

If the adjudicator has found for the tenant and you fail to put them in funds to refund the money to the tenant, they are legally entitled to recoup this money from you.  So you are unlikely to be able to defend their claim successfully.

Click here to read the original article: "When TDS unfairly find for the tenants at adjudication"

Friday, 11 April 2014

Another council to introduce mandatory licencing for all landlords

Cabinet members have passed proposals to bring in a licensing scheme for private landlords.

Enfield Borough Council’s cabinet voted last night to pass the scheme, which introduces a compulsory licence that will cost £500 over five years.

The council has brought this in to stop rogue landlords and ensure property owners adopt health and safety measures.

Landlord Graham Roberts, who spoke at the meeting last night, believes the idea of tackling anti-social behaviour by targeting landlords doesn’t add up.

He said: “No report can suggest that private rented households cause anti-social behaviour. One correlation in data does not automatically mean it is just down to that one thing.

“What the council needs to understand is that we are not against the idea of tackling antisocial behaviour, but they should at least invite experienced landlords to help combat this issue. Whether they will or not remains to be seen.

"The scheme feels like it is stigmatising landlords, it is not about the fee."

Mr Roberts made it clear that any representation last night did not come from group Stop Enfield, which has been rallying support against the scheme.

Councillor Ahmet Oykener, cabinet member for housing, said: “The council wishes to support the development of good quality private rented sector in Enfield, and support private landlords to achieve this by setting clear standards.”

Cllr Oykener also claimed that if landlords signed up early they get a reduction of 50 per cent by signing up before April 2015.

The plan will go before the overview and scrutiny panel on April 30.

Click here to read the original article: "Cabinet passes landlord register scheme"

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Licensing scheme to go before cabinet

Council chiefs are expected to back plans to introduce a compulsory licensing scheme for private landlords at a meeting tonight. 

Enfield Council’s cabinet will make a decision on the scheme, known as additional and selective licensing, under which private landlords will have to obtain a £500 five-year licence from the authority to cover every property they own. 

In order to secure a licence, landlords have to ensure that sufficient health and safety measures are in place, as well as procedures to deal with antisocial behaviour and environmental crime. 

The council believes ineffective management of privately rented homes has resulted in heightened levels of antisocial behaviour, poor standards of homes, overcrowding and missed rubbish collections. 

Following a consultation period, the proposed fee was reduced from £575 – but the council says it will offer an early bird discounted fee of £250 for landlords who sign up before April next year. 

The cost to a landlord who takes up the discount offer will amount to 96p a week per property over five years. 

Council chiefs are expected to face serious opposition from landlords at tonight’s meeting. 

A group called Enfield Landlords, which describes itself as “the umbrella organisation that self-regulates private landlords and landowners” in the borough, was set up in response to the plans. 

A petition the group started in February has been signed by 1,860 people and the matter is likely to be discussed at the next overview and scrutiny committee, which can review the policy and make recommendations. 

Edgar Meto, the landlord who heads up Enfield Landlords, has previously told the Advertiser he believes the proposals are based on the“flawed premise” that privately rented homes are the key drivers of antisocial behaviour in the borough. 

He has also accused the council of simply trying to increase revenue with the scheme. 

The initiative is supported by Jill Harrison, chief executive of Enfield Citizens' Advice Bureau. 

She said: “Something needs to be done to improve things in the private rented sector and if you are a good landlord you will not have anything to fear from the scheme. 

I think it will benefit both landlords and tenants, it is in everyone’s interest if properties are managed properly.” 

The plans are not supported by Conservative councillors. Edward Smith, shadow cabinet member for housing, said: “Our objection to the scheme is the level of inspection that is being proposed and the fees connected to it. 

“We are not in favour of the exploitation of tenants, but there are different ways of dealing with this without the need for a registration system.” 

Click here to read the original article: "Licensing scheme to go before cabinet"

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

How can landlords evict tenants quickly?

The quick answer is that in the vast majority of cases you can’t get them out quickly, unless you can persuade them to move out voluntarily.

So, for example, if you offered them £5,000 to move out next week they might go. Depending on whether they had anywhere else to go to and how important it was for them to have £5K right now.

It might not be, or (particularly if they have a protected tenancy) it might be more cost effective for them to remain in your property. In which case they won’t leave and you will have to get a court order for possession (if you can).

Most people will go if you pay them enough money – but their price may be higher than you are prepared, or able, to pay.

If you go in and change the locks before your tenants have moved out voluntarily (HOWEVER badly they are behaving) this will put you in breach of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

You will be vulnerable not only to prosecution but also to a claim for financial compensation from your tenants.

The ONLY  safe way to evict a tenant is by the Court Bailiff (or High Court Sheriffs) acting under the authority of a court order for possession.

But what about the accelerated eviction procedure?

People often get confused about the accelerated procedure. It is badly named.

First – it is not really that quick. It generally takes between six to ten weeks from issuing the proceedings to getting the court order. Personally I would not describe that as ‘accelerated’ although maybe it is compared to some other court proceedings.

Second – you can ONLY use it to get possession based on section 21. So to be able to use it you need to have served a s21 notice first (which has a minimum notice period of two months) and the fixed term must have ended.

So if you have just found out that your tenants have lied to you on their tenant application form and it is two weeks into a 12 month fixed term – you can’t use it. Not for the next 11 ½ months anyway.

Note by the way that you can only use the accelerated procedure to evict assured shorthold tenancies (as you can only use s21 for ASTs).

A standard eviction

Assuming you have an AST (as most landlords do) a standard eviction will generally take between three (if you are very lucky) to six months, or maybe longer (if you are unlucky or have got something wrong).

You can’t really hurry this. Attempts to speed up the system generally result in more delay.

All you can do is deal with things promptly and make sure that your paperwork is perfect so there is nothing to prevent your case going ahead as normal.

Emergency situations

There are no situations that I am aware of which will entitle a landlord to go in and change the locks on a residential tenant without a court order – apart from situations where it is clear that the tenant has already left.

To find out more about this, read this post on implied surrender.

So if the tenant has gone mad and is smashing up the property – call in the police or social services as appropriate, and instruct a solicitor to apply to court for an injunction.

If the emergency is that the property is on fire or there is a gas leak, this sort of situation does allow the landlord to enter the property – but only to deal with the emergency, not to evict the tenant!

Anyway in this sort of situation the landlord is best advised to call the relevant authorities (ie the fire brigade or the National Grid’s Gas Emergency service – Freephone number: 0800 111 999)

Quick answers to common situations

I am selling the property and need the tenant to go – unless you can persuade the buyer to buy the property with the tenant in situ, you will need to get a court order in the normal way. There is no special “I want to sell the property and need the tenants out quick” ground for possession.

I am unable to pay my mortgage if the tenant fails to pay my rent – all you can do is explain this to the tenant and say that if they don’t pay you, they risk being evicted by your mortgage company

The tenant is doing something illegal in the property – report this to the police, but remember that if they are arrested and jailed, this does not of itself entitle you to go in and change the locks.

In conclusion

Once a tenant has been given the keys and moves in, you lose control over that property. You can ONLY get it back if the tenant moves out voluntarily or if you get a court order for possession. This will normally take you several months.

This is why it is CRITICAL that you take care in choosing your tenants. Once they are in it may be hard to get them out again.

Click here to read the original article: "How can landlords evict tenants quickly?"

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The small print that could cost landlords thousands

Landlords who employ a property management agent could be held liable for thousands of pounds of unexpected costs due to small print in the contract.

An investigation by The Telegraph has uncovered terms and conditions in a large number of contracts that, if enforced, could eat into their returns.

Although agents argue that the terms in question exist to cover the business and are rarely imposed in practice, landlords should ensure they understand all of the fine print provided by management firms.
Here are just a few of the clauses.

Change of ownership

This clause, seen in many different firms’ contracts, gives the letting agent the right to continue charging full tenancy fees for years after the landlord has sold the property.

The clause states that if a property is sold with a tenant in place, the original owner must continue paying fees for as long as the tenant lives there. This applies even after the original tenancy term has ended, should the tenant renew or extend with the new owner.

If enforced, the original landlord could be liable to pay fees for many years, even despite having broken all other ties with the property and tenant.

Jeremy Raj, a partner in residential property at law firm Wedlake Bell, said the clause could be difficult to enforce, and should be challenged.

“You can’t normally bind someone in a contract that doesn't concern them at all,” he said.

Selling to a tenant

This common term allows the management firm to take a percentage of the sale price if the landlord sells the property to a tenant that was originally sourced and secured by the agent. It applies even if the agent had no involvement whatsoever in the sale.

Agents argue that finding the tenant indicates an entitlement to a fee, regardless of whether their firm was involved in the sale negotiations. The fee is typically set at between 1pc and 2pc plus VAT.
Based on the average UK house price of £254,000, as recorded by the Office for National Statistics in January, a 2pc fee could typically amount to £5,080 plus VAT.


Some companies offer to rent, under the company’s name, from the landlord at a discount. The agent then sub-lets the property to a tenant at a higher price.

This might prove an attractive option to a landlord who does not want any involvement in, or to make any decisions on, the management of the property.

But Sally Lawson, chief executive of Concentric Lettings, who also represents the Association of Residential Letting Agents, said landlords must be aware that even in these situations they are ultimately responsible for some aspects of the “end” tenancy agreed between the agent and the actual resident.

“Giving up all control over who is in the property and the contract with the end tenant could cause problems down the line,” she said.

Mr Raj agreed, adding landlords should always maintain a direct link to, and some control over, their end tenant.

Ms Lawson said some types of sub-let agreements could also breach landlords’ contracts with their mortgage or insurance companies.

“Many mortgage lenders do not allow owners to sub-let because they need to know who is living in the property in case of repossession,” she said. “Some insurance companies also don’t allow sub-letting because they restrict some types of tenants such as students or DSS tenants.”

Maintenance fees

Estate agents have faced strong criticism for failing to disclose all fees and charges.

In February The Daily Telegraph detailed the hidden charges and inflated costs levied by estate agents which arrange property servicing and maintenance work through contractors.

On top of the usual management charge, estate agents are adding mark-ups of up to 20pc to contractors’ bills to boost their profits, plus demanding a cut of up to 60pc from contractors for work on the building. These charges are not clearly disclosed to landlords.

Adam Long is a landlord who owns a number of buy-to-let properties in the North West. He became so disillusioned with high fees and complex terms and conditions that he set up his own lettings company, Propeller.

“Last year I received a bill from my letting agent for £260 to replace a toilet seat. Just for clarity I mean only the bit you sit directly on, not the whole thing. I went to see the tenant who was irate as it had taken the lettings company nine months to achieve. The industry is in serious need of a shake-up.”

Click here to read the original article: "The small print that could cost landlords thousands"

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Liverpool Council to license all landords

Liverpool City Council is currently carrying out a 12 week public consultation for a proposed citywide selective licensing scheme.

Selective Licensing requires private landlords to obtain a licence from the city council to operate.  The consultation started on the 24th March 2014 and you can view the proposal in full and fill in an online questionnaire or make comment. Please click link for full details http://liverpool.gov.uk/selectivelicensing

Another of the pledges the council has committed to create is a ‘Scores on the Doors’ service. This has been developed whereby prospective tenants can enquire whether landlords are registered, accredited, licensed (if an HMO) or a member of a recognised landlords organisation.

The plan is to charge all landlords £500 PER PROPERTY for a 5 year license and cover every rented property in the city. The City Council is proposing to introduce a tiered licence fee structure with discounts - including for accredited landlords, for landlords with multiple properties and for landlords who submit early applications.

Failure to register could result in prosecution and fines of up to £20,000.

If you wish to take part in the consultation process please click here www.opinionresearch.co.uk/LiverpoolSelectiveLicensing