Licensing and permits

How we monitor private sector housing conditions

The council has a statutory duty to monitor the condition of local private sector housing in Liverpool.

What we do

The citywide Landlord Licensing Scheme ended on 1st April 2020. However, we continue to monitor the condition of local private sector housing in several ways which include:

  • officers visiting householders in their homes to diagnose defects
  • collecting information on works carried out locally
  • carrying out periodic large-scale surveys of local properties, such as the housing condition survey.

We also offer advice and support to landlords and other stakeholders in line with our enforcement policy to make sure all privately-rented housing is safe and managed well. 

The action we take

We advise landlords to read our enforcement policy to be aware of their ongoing responsibilities to maintain their privately rented property.

All landlords have a duty to make sure their rented properties are well managed, safe and free from hazards.

If a landlord fails to fulfil their duty, we have powers under Housing Act 2004 and our enforcement policy to take action which includes:

  • serving legal notices
  • issuing civil penalties
  • prosecuting landlords

Our officers use their enforcement powers to make landlords improve any property that presents a serious health and safety risk to tenants.

If landlords fail to carry out this work we can prosecute them.

Action against poor or unlicensed HMO landlords

We use intelligence from a number of sources to identify HMO properties that are poorly managed or in disrepair and take all complaints extremely seriously. 

Anyone who controls or manages an HMO property who does not have a licence, and is not exempt, may be prosecuted. On conviction, this offence carries unlimited fines.

In addition, if there are any significant breach of licence conditions, or repeated complaints about the property or its maintenance, we will take action. This may lead to a licence being revoked and prosecution.

Tackling anti-social behaviour in HMOs

HMO landlords have a duty to tackle anti-social behaviour as set out in Section 9 of their HMO licence conditions. Our private sector housing anti-social behaviour team continue to enforce these conditions.

Any anti-social behaviour reported in unlicensed HMO properties will be investigated by the council’s safer stronger communities team and public protection.