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Sefton Council consultation on extending its five-year Housing Licensing schemes is underway

A consultation is underway to see whether local people want Sefton Council’s housing licensing schemes for privately rented properties extended for a further five-years.

Since March 2018, Sefton Council has had a Selective Licensing scheme for private landlords in the Bootle area. There is also another licensing scheme which is called ‘Additional (HMO) Licensing which is only for houses of multiple occupancy (rented to at least three people, who are not part of the same family) for privately rented property situated in parts of Seaforth, Waterloo, Brighton-Le-Sands and central Southport.

Proposing to extend

With the current schemes due to end on 28th February 2023, Sefton Council is now carrying out a 12-week consultation on its proposal to extend them until February 2028.

You can find information about the proposals and a link to the consultation here. 

Improved standards

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Introducing the current licencing schemes has enabled Sefton Council to work with private landlords in the areas covered to improve their standards of management.

“This, in turn, has resulted in improved living conditions for their tenants as well as improvements for the wider areas, such as reduced anti-social behaviour.

“By extending the scheme for a further five years, we want to build on this success and bring about further benefits for landlords, tenants and those communities.”

Hazards removed

Since the introduction of the Scheme in March 2018, serious health and safety hazards have been removed from over 300 licensed properties. These includes issues relating to fire safety, electrical hazards, damp & mould and excess cold.

Although nearly 60% of the properties inspected did not initially meet the required housing standards, 98% of these were subsequently improved.

And, over 80 Landlords have received Civil Penalty Fines for failing to licence their properties.

Benefits for tenants, landlords and neighbourhoods

Cllr Hardy added: “Our view is that by renewing these schemes we can deliver benefits for tenants, landlords and the neighbourhoods they cover and the costs for landlords would start from just 2.67 per week.

“Of course, we want local people’s input before moving forward so would urge anybody likely to be affected, whether they rent a property, they’re a landlord or live in the proposed areas, to take part in the consultation at www.sefton.gov.uk/licensing-consultation.”

Anyone wanting to be kept updated on the proposed housing licensing schemes, can contact landlord.licensing@sefton.gov.uk .

There are links to more information about Selective Licensing and Additional (HMO) Licensing in Sefton here.

This consultation is being carried out on behalf of Sefton Council by independent market research company M.E.L. Research, an accredited Market Research Society Company Partner that abides by the MRS Code of Conduct.

Future of housing in Sefton

Sefton Council is also asking people to help shape the future of housing across the Borough.

A consultation, which lasts until Friday 29th July is now underway and details can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/housingstrategyconsultation. The feedback will be used to help shape a new, 2022-2027 Housing Strategy .

Key themes of Sefton Council’s draft Housing Strategy include Improving the quality of housing in the Borough and Providing homes that meet people’s needs.

Enabling people to live independently and Tackling Barriers to Obtaining Suitable Housing and Services for the most vulnerable are also main objectives along with Effectively using council-owned properties and assets to support additional housing.

Have your say.