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Landlord Licensing, What Is It and How To Use It

Landlord licensing is a scheme adopted by Liverpool City Council to make sure that landlords are keeping their properties to a minimum standard and that they are ‘fit and proper’ to be landlords. The scheme initially existed across the city, but was brought to an end by the government in March 2020. It was then later restarted at the beginning of April 2022, following campaigning by ourselves and other community groups and law centres, such as Merseyside Law Centre, and ACORN Liverpool.


Under the scheme, landlords have to apply for a license if they are going to rent out their property. When they apply, they have to declare whether they have any convictions for certain offences and also pay the application fee.


How can the scheme help me as a tenant?


The scheme can help you hold your landlord to account and make sure they are keeping your home to minimum standards. Money collected from landlords in application fees can also increase the council budget for enforcing these standards.


Generally, the scheme can help with issues such as;


· Intimidating behaviour towards tenants;

· Criminal activity;

· Overcrowding;

· Antisocial behaviour;

· Disrepair issues at a property;

· Maintenance of Gas Safety, Electrical Appliances, and Smoke Alarms.


If you have a problem with any of the issues above please read our guide below to find out whether your home should be licensed, whether it has been licensed by your landlord and what to do if you're home is licensed and you have an issue with any of the points above.


How do I know if my home should be licensed?


The scheme covers 16 wards in Liverpool City Council. Here are the wards:


· Anfield

· Central

· County

· Everton

· Fazakerley

· Greenbank

· Kensington and Fairfield

· Kirkdale

· Old Swan

· Picton

· Princes Park

· Riverside

· St Michael's

· Tuebrook and Stoneycroft

· Warbreck

· Wavertree

We're aware of recent ward changes after the last local elections however, we are still waiting for further information regarding properties that are eligible for the selective scheme under the new wards. We will update our map accordingly once we have this information.


This means that your landlord must have a license for your property if you live in one of these wards. It doesn’t matter whether you rent your property by yourself or with other people (for example as a student), your home needs to be licensed if you live in one of these wards.


To check which ward you live in, use this link. Is your ward not on the list? Complete our form to help us collect data on why it should be: https://forms.office.com/e/wrq90QnTri


Once you know whether your area is covered by the scheme, you can use this link to check whether your home is licensed.


The page will look like this...

Make sure you click on ‘License Register’. We’ve added a yellow arrow on the picture above to show you where to click.


Once you’ve clicked on ‘License Register’, you need to select the ‘License Type’ that applies to you. For example, if you are renting from your landlord with your family, choose ‘Selective License’. If you are renting from your landlord as part of a group of students, choose ‘HMO License’.


If you’re not sure which license to choose, think about who you live with. ‘HMO’ means ‘house in multiple occupation’ and generally means a property with more than one household and more than two people share facilities such as bathrooms or cooking facilities. For example, if you live with your partner and share facilities you are still classed as one household because you are two people under one household/tenancy. In this situation you’d search for ‘Selective License’. However, if you live a house with your two friends and share facilities, you are classed as three separate households. In this situation you’d search for ‘HMO License’.


Once you’ve entered which type of license you are searching for you need to enter your full address to check if your home has been licensed.


If I have a problem with a landlord, what should I do?


The first thing you should do is check whether your home should be licensed. To do this, go back to the ‘How do I know if my home should be licensed?’ section above, and this will explain how to find out.


Once you’ve worked this out, you then need to go to Liverpool City Council’s Licensing Page and create an account. You will then receive a verification email. Click the part that says ‘Please verify your account by clicking this link’, to complete the verification of your account.


From here, you are able to log-in and complete your complaint. When you log-in, you will be shown the home page. It will look like this…

Click on ‘Requests/Complaints’. We’ve added an arrow to show you where this should be on the web page. On the next page, click on ‘Submit a Request / Complaint’.

From here, you should fill in the ‘Your Details’, ‘Request Details’, and ‘File Uploads’ sections.


‘Your Details’ will be your name, address and telephone numbers.


‘Request Details’ is the section you should fill in to detail the problem you are having with your landlord.


Click on ‘Request Subject’ to begin. This should give you a list of options to choose from. There are 3 options for Housing.


- For disrepair issues select ‘Housing – Report a Housing Disrepair Problem with a Private Rented Property’.


- For problems with anti-social behaviour select ‘Housing – Report Anti-Social Behaviour in a Private Rented Property’


- For any other issues relating to your rented home select ‘Housing – Private Sector Housing & Hmo Enquiries’

Select whichever of these options applies to you.


Then click on the drop-down box for ‘This request relates to’, and select ‘Requester’s address’.


Under the ‘Additional Information’ box, enter in as much detail all of the problems you are experiencing with your landlord, and any disrepair issues you may be having. In this section, include descriptions of your disrepair issue, and include dates and times of complaints to your landlord, and their response, with as much accuracy as possible. This will all be used to inform the Council to the severity of your situation. Also include your landlords’ details in this section – if you are unsure of your landlords’ details, check your tenancy agreement. You can also use the steps below the ‘How do I know if my home should be licensed?’ section of this leaflet.


File Uploads’ should be used to upload any supporting evidence for your request. This could be things like:

· Pictures of disrepair you have taken on your mobile phone

· Screenshots of texts/whatsapps/emails with landlords/letting agents about the issue you are complaining about

· Screenshots of texts/whatsapps/emails with contractors or specialists that may have looked at the issue you are complaining about


Once you have completed these three sections with as much information as possible, click ‘Next’, and confirm your information. Then click ‘finish’.


This will now submit your request to the council.


The council will notify your landlord if they take your request. They may issue them with an ‘Improvement Notice’, this specifies what repairs need to be made, and puts a timeline on them.


If you have any difficulties using the service, if you do not receive a response, if you are unhappy with the outcome or if you feel the matter is urgent then please contact us and we will assist where we can.


Call 0151 360 7777 or email advice@vauxhalllawcentre.org.uk




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