A photo of the historic buildings of Liverpool rental

Liverpool rental market standards set to rise as £2m taskforce launched

The Liverpool rental sector has seen huge growth in recent years as landlords have honed in on the strong market, but unfortunately that includes rogue landlords. 

Liverpool rental demand is at an all-time high, boosting rental yields for landlords, while ongoing regeneration and redevelopment of the city is adding more stock to the market that is quickly getting snapped up.

However, while the vast majority of landlords who operate there are above board and keen to provide a good service and quality of property, the city has also seen a rise in the number of rogue and even criminal landlords renting out properties.

As such, in order to regain and maintain a high standard in the Liverpool rental market, and to protect the tenants who rely on such accommodation, Liverpool City Council has just launched a new taskforce, using a £2m grant from the government, to help it to tackle landlords who are exploiting tenants.

What will the taskforce do?

The aim of the new taskforce, titled the Private Sector Housing Intelligence and Enforcement Task Force, will be to “disrupt” the activities of criminal landlords, potentially resulting in them being banned from operating. The taskforce’s success should improve standards in the Liverpool rental sector.

This will involve sharing intelligence among a range of entities, including the police and children’s services, to help the team to tackle the most complex of cases. Neighbouring local authorities may also be contacted, where landlords have multiple properties across various areas.

Examples of criminal landlord activity cited by Sarah Doyle, cabinet member for housing, include using a rental property to store drugs, or for housing people who have been trafficked, or carrying out illegal work within a property.

She notes the potential damage that such activity can do to a community and an area, as well as to the people directly involved.

“People can feel scared to go out of their homes,” she said. “Streets where once kids used to go out and play, businesses might want to move out because they feel the area is being run down. One property can change the dynamic of a place.”

The new initiative will operate separately to the landlord licensing scheme that already exists in the Liverpool rental sector, although both aim to contribute to an improvement in the rental scene for both tenants and landlords. At the moment, around 70% of rental stock in the city comes under a licensing scheme.

Strong Liverpool rental market

The Liverpool rental space has become a favourite among property investors, including those based in the UK and buyers from overseas. It is regularly marked out as one of the strongest places in the country in terms of rental yields for landlords.

It has received huge levels of investment and regeneration over recent years, too, with projects such as Liverpool Waters transforming a huge section of the city’s waterside area and bringing creating of new homes and jobs.

Thousands of students flock to the city each year to take advantage of its top-class universities, while young professionals are attracted there for a range of reasons, from the more affordable accommodation on offer to the improved job prospects and social scene.

It was recently named as the best place to live and work in the UK in an index compiled by OneFamily, where it received particularly high scores in the categories for cost of living, pace of life, happiness of citizens and pride in the city.

The Liverpool rental market may have been further buoyed by the recent rise in borrowing costs. House prices there remain much cheaper than many of the UK’s other major cities, making it an ideal place for property investors to diversify into, or for first-time investors with less cash at their disposal.

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