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Private Landlords in Sefton reminded of new licence rules

Private Landlords across Sefton are being reminded that the deadline to apply for a licence to rent out their property is fast approaching.

The deadline for applications is set for September 1 and landlords who have yet to apply are being urged to do so as soon as possible.

Since March 1, Sefton Council requires landlords of private rented properties in some parts of the borough to apply for a housing licence.

So far the Council has received hundreds of applications and are now issuing licences but many landlords have yet to apply.

If you are a private landlord in Sefton and haven’t already, you need to check whether you will need a licence to rent out your property and if so, apply for one.

If your property is in the Bootle (L20, L21) area you may need a Selective Licence.

If your property is in Seaforth (L21), Waterloo (L22), Brighton-le-Sands (L23) or Southport (PR8, PR9) AND it is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) you may need an Additional (HMO) licence.

HMOs do include buildings that have been converted into self-contained flats where the standard of conversion does not meet that required by the Building Regulations 1991, and less than two-thirds of the flats are owner occupied.

A full list of all streets affected along with further details of the schemes, licensing conditions and fees are available on sefton.gov.uk.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said: “I would strongly advise all landlords to check whether their properties need a licence and, if so, to apply for one as soon as possible.

“By introducing the new licensing scheme we can help identify improvements in property management which benefits landlords and tenants alike.”

Landlord Mark Hodge from Bootle owns three rented properties and was one of the first to apply for a licence.

He said: “Moving towards a properly regulated rental market through the licensing scheme is a step in the right direction.

“Signing up and registering was made very easy and I hope more landlords do the same which can only benefit us all and our tenants.”

A rigorous enforcement regime will commence from September 1, and landlords found to be operating unlicensed properties will face prosecution or Civil Penalty Notices which carry fines up to £30,000.

The Government is also extending the scope of Mandatory HMO Licensing from October 1, 2018. All landlords of HMOs throughout the borough that meet the following criteria are required to have applied for a licence by that date, so should make an application now:
• 5 or more occupants (who comprise two or more separate family units)
• Shared amenities such as bathroom, kitchen, or toilet facilities or where all the units of accommodation are not fully self-contained (i.e. although a kitchen, bathroom or WC are provided for the tenant’s use elsewhere in the building, they are not actually situated within their unit of accommodation)

Landlords will be required to meet a range of licence conditions, and show that they have appropriate management arrangements in place.

You can check if you need a housing licence, which type of licence you need and apply for a housing licence https://housinglicensing.sefton.gov.uk/

If you want further details or wish to be kept informed about housing licensing please email landlord.licensing@sefton.gov.uk.