First prosecution over Liverpool landlord licensing scheme

Liverpool rooftops Image copyright PA
Image caption The compulsory scheme covers more than 44,000 properties run by about 8,000 landlords

A landlord has become the first to be prosecuted for failing to sign up to a licensing scheme in Liverpool aimed at improving private rented housing.

The compulsory licence for private landlords was introduced in April last year and costs £400 for one property.

Brendan Vance, of The Orchard in Huyton, pleaded guilty to failing to commit to the scheme at Liverpool Magistrates' Court earlier.

He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay the council's legal costs.

Liverpool City Council took action after Vance ignored its letters about his property in Onslow Road, Fairfield.

To gain a five-year licence, landlords must meet health and safety guidelines and be seen to be "keeping the exterior in a good state of repair and dealing with complaints about anti-social behaviour caused by tenants".

Councillor Ann O'Byrne said landlords have had "ample time to sign up to the scheme" and the council is "now taking action against those who are ignoring the law".

"We are serious and determined about improving housing... and are willing to hit landlords hard in the pocket," she said.

The licence costs £400 for one property, with an extra £350 payable for each subsequent let and the money generated is used for "legitimate costs such as compliance checks", the council said.

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