Licensing scheme offers discount for good EPC rating

Applications open later this week for one of the country’s largest and most controversial landlord licensing schemes – in Liverpool.

The new scheme runs until April 2027 and covers no fewer than 45,000 properties in 16 wards of the city.

Landlords signing up before the end of June this year get an early bird discount of £380 per property, rather than £550, but there are additional discounts based on property energy efficiency:

  •  a £50 discount for each property with an EPC of C or above;
  •  a £50 discount for each property licenced by the same licence holder in the same block of flats;
  •  a £30 discount for each property if the licence holder has an active membership of a professional body related to housing, such as the NRLA.

There will be no charge for landlords offering permanent accommodation to meet homelessness duties, providing the property meets licence standards set by the council.

The licensing scheme coming into effect this spring follows a long saga of the Labour controlled council in the city clashing with the Conservative government.

In January 2020 the then-Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick rejected the council’s bid to get a five year extension to its previous scheme, provoking widespread criticism from the Labour party in the city.

At the time the council claimed that 70 per cent of inspected properties in Liverpool had been found to be in breach of their licence condition since the original landlord licensing scheme was launched in 2015 “uncovering serious hazards such as fire risks, poor electrics and excess cold.”

Now the council’s housing spokesperson Sarah Doyle says: “The launch of our new Landlord Licensing scheme is a major step forward in giving us the tools to improve our neighbourhoods.

“Too many vulnerable people in our city are in poor housing conditions, paying rent to a landlord who doesn’t carry out essential maintenance to keep them warm and safe.

“The Landlord Licensing scheme gives us regulation of private rented houses, so that we can take action when concerns are raised.

“Under the previous scheme, council intervention forced bad landlords into taking action to improve their properties.

“Poor electrical and fire safety standards are a danger to life and damp and anti-social behaviour contribute to poor health and mental wellbeing.”

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