Selective licensing consultation

The designation of four of the Selective Licensing areas in Wirral is due to end on 30 June 2020. Wirral Council is proposing to re-designate these areas. The council is also looking to introduce Selective Licensing in two new areas.

The consultation closed on Monday 14 October 2019. The outcome will be reported to the council's cabinet, and a decision will be made, in February 2020.

Wirral introduced its first selective licensing scheme on 1 July 2015, with four designated areas. The scheme was extended into four new areas on 1 March 2019. 

In the original four areas, more than 1,300 licences have been granted and more than 830 properties have received a compliance check.  Of those properties which have been inspected, over 70% have required improvements to the property or management practices to bring them up to the required standard.

Homes that fail to meet the required standard have a detrimental impact on the health and welfare of those who live in them, which also impacts on local communities.

Most landlords have been co-operative in making improvements. The Council has taken a tough stance on poor landlords in these areas with 50 prosecutions achieved to date.

It is anticipated that Selective Licensing could improve these neighbourhoods by driving up property management practice and property standards in the private rented sector. It could also help to solve other issues contributing to poor property condition and low demand within a neighbourhood.

Business case for Selective Licensing areas

Information on why these areas are selected for the proposals can be found in the business case below.

Background

Wirral has areas of low housing demand and almost 1 in 3 properties in Wirral’s private rented sector fails to meet the decent homes standard, which can have a huge impact on the health and welfare of tenants and wider communities. Selective Licensing aims to improve homes in these areas by ensuring private landlords and agents meet satisfactory standards of tenancy and property management.

Holders of licenses are required to comply with the conditions of the Selective Licence. In addition, a team of Healthy Homes Advocates are working in each of the Selective Licensing areas offering residents free advice and services relating to a range of health and housing issues.

Wirral currently has 4 selective licensing areas which were designated on 1 July 2015 and will last until 31 June 2020. 4 further Selective Licensing areas are due to commence on 1 April 2019. The documents below provide maps of each of the areas and a list of addresses, which are subject to periodic review and update.

Map areas where the selective licensing designated on 1 July 2015 scheme applies.

Map areas where the selective licensing designated on 1 April 2019 scheme applies.

How to apply for a Selective Licence

If you are a property owner or a managing agent of privately rented accommodation within one of the designated selective licensing areas, you can complete an online application.

Apply online for a licence

A paper application can be made, however an additional fee of £50 for the administration of the paper applications will apply. If you wish to be sent paper application forms please email selectivelicencing@wirral.gov.uk

It is the responsibility of the property owner, manager or managing agent to ensure the property has a valid licence at all times.

Current licence fees

Penalties and Sanctions

Prosecution

Failure to apply for a licence when required is an offence punishable on summary conviction to an unlimited fine.  Alternative a Civil Penalty Notice of up to £30,000 can be issued.

Repayment of rent

Tenants including former tenants living at the property whilst it was unlicensed or the Council may apply to the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) for a Rent Repayment Order (RRO) to reclaim up to 12 months’ rent from the landlord.  Apply for an RRO.

Failing to comply with licence conditions

Anyone failing to comply with licence conditions commits an offence punishable on summary conviction to an unlimited fine per offence.  A Civil Penalty Notice up to £30,000 is an alternative sanction available to the local authority.

More information

For further guidance on the application process email selectivelicensing@wirral.gov.uk.

You can also write to:

Selective Licensing
Wallasey Town Hall
Brighton Street
Wirral
CH44 8ED

Members of the public can view the public register that gives the details of landlords who have a licence for their property. To make an appointment to view this register please write to the Selective Licensing Team at the above address or alternatively email selectivelicensing@wirral.gov.uk.

Wirral Council reserves the right to charge for this service in accordance with Section 232(5) of the Housing Act 2004.

Selective licence properties and landlords

To search the below list for a property or licence holder, type CTRL+F and type in the text you are looking for.

Selective licence properties and landlords in Wirral, June 2019

Selective Licence Bulky Waste Collection Service

The Selective Licence Bulky waste collection service is a free scheme which can be accessed by current licence holders of licenced residential properties situated within Wirral Council’s designated selective licence areas.

This service is operated by the council to assist licence holders in disposing of large household items from rented accommodation. A maximum of 12 bin bags (or equivalent) can be arranged to be collected by appointment with the council on a pre-set day. The maximum number of collections per calendar year has been set at 2.

Bulky Waste Collection application form

Email the completed form to: selectivelicensing@wirral.gov.uk

What happens next?

We will process your application and email you with confirmation of collection and the agreed date. If the application is unsuccessful we will liaise directly with the applicant over the issue (for example, unpaid fees, maximum collections exceeded or unlicensed properties).

Selective Licence documents archive

2015 designation

Following the consultation, all representations were considered and a report was presented to Wirral Council’s Cabinet on 12 March 2015 and full council on 16 March 2015, where it was agreed to designate a selective licensing scheme in 4 areas in Wirral. The consultation on proposals for selective licensing in the 4 areas currently designated closed on Wednesday 18 February 2015.

2018/19 designation

Extending Selective Licensing in Wirral

On 1 April 2019 selective licensing commenced within 4 additional areas of Wirral. The following links to the public notice and the maps advise of the areas affected.

Selective Licensing Public Notice

View each area for a detailed map and list of addresses included in the proposed areas. The 4 additional areas are:

The 4 new areas were identified in a similar way as the original areas, using research by Wirral Council’s Intelligence Team which identified key areas suffering from low housing demand and poor property condition, as well as higher than average rates of private rented homes. Following consultation, all representations were considered and a report was presented to Wirral Council’s Cabinet on 1 October 2018, where it was agreed to designate selective licensing into a further 4 areas of the Wirral.

The Supporting Evidence and Rationale and Business Case documents below provide the reasoning and context behind the 2019 designation. These are supported by the public and stakeholder consultation findings document.

Selective Licensing Public Notice