From March 1, 2018 landlords who privately rent out their properties will be required to obtain a new licence from Sefton Council if their properties are located within selected areas in the borough.
Sefton Council approved the implementation of two new housing licensing schemes in September, 2017 in separate areas of the borough. Both schemes will run until the end of February 2023.
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Sefton designated an area of Bootle as being subject to Selective licensing, (all privately rented properties) and has designated parts of Seaforth, Waterloo, Brighton-le-Sands and Southport as being subject to Additional licensing.
Additional licensing requires all houses defined as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) to apply for a housing licence. Mandatory licensing for larger HMO properties is currently a national requirement.
A full list of all streets affected along with further details of the schemes, licensing conditions and fees are available on sefton.gov.uk.
Landlords will be required to meet a range of licence conditions, and show that they have appropriate management arrangements in place.
It is an offence, which can result in fines of any amount, if the landlord or person in control of the property:
• fails to apply for a licence for a licensable property, or
• allows a property to be occupied by more people than is permitted under the licence
• breaches any of the licence conditions
If you are a landlord, a person managing a property within the areas of the designation you are advised to check whether your property will require a licence and ensure that you apply for one per property.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said: “We have areas where many properties currently fail to meet the required homes standard, which can have a terrible impact on the health and welfare of their tenants and their wider communities.
“The schemes we have introduced aim to reduce that by making sure private landlords meet satisfactory standards of tenancy and property management.
“But it is also about tenants behaving in a way that does not blight or impact on their community and shows respect for their neighbours.
“If you are a landlord renting a property in any of the designated areas, you must check whether your property will need a licence from March 1, 2018.”
Landlords can apply for a reduced fee for either applying within the first 3 months of the scheme, being accredited or when a Sefton accredited managing agent is appointed by the landlord to be the licence holder. Further details of the reduced fees are available on the Council’s website.
Further details of Sefton’s property (and managing agent) accreditation schemes are available on www.sefton.gov.uk/housing. Early application for property accreditation is encouraged.