A scenic picture of the Marine Lake in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

A total of 59 HMO landlords have been subject to enforcement action in Sefton over the last five years. 

They include 36 landlords in Southport and 23 in Bootle. 

The actions were brought as part of Sefton Council’s HMO Licensing schemes, which were introduced in March 2018 and were renewed in March this year. 

They aim to raise standards for people living in private rented properties, in HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation). 

At the full Sefton Council meeting, Sefton Lib Dem Leader John Pugh asked how many landlords in each of the three constituencies making up Sefton have been subject to enforcement action under the council’s HMO Licensing Schemes.

Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing Councillor Trish Hardy said: “59 HMO Landlords in Sefton have been subject to enforcement action in relation to HMO licensing since the start of the Selective and Additional HMO Licensing schemes on 1/3/2018. 

“Some of those landlords have been the subject of multiple enforcement action. 

“The constituency breakdown is as follows: – 

Southport = 36 Landlords 

Sefton Central = 0 

Bootle = 23 

“Landlords Enforcement action has included Prosecution, Service of Civil Penalty Fines, Service of Statutory Notices and Rent Repayment Orders. 

“Offences have included failure to apply for a HMO Licence, failure to comply with Licence conditions, or failure to comply with HMO Management Regulations.”

An extension of Sefton Council’s successful Selective and Additional (HMO) Licensing schemes for private rented homes came into effect on 1st March this year. The extension of the scheme was given the go-ahead after a consultation last year.

Since it introduced Licensing schemes in March 2018, Sefton Council has used them to secure improvements for people living in privately rented properties across the borough. 

Over 3,000 serious health and safety hazards, including problems with fire safety, electrical hazards, damp and mould and excess cold, have been removed from licensed properties in that time.

Cllr Trish Hardy Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said at the time: “Approaching 3,900 private rented properties across the borough are registered through our Selective and Additional (HMO) Licensing schemes, which have enabled us the council to step in and deal with poor management of thousands of hazards being faced by tenants.

“In most cases, we have been able to work with landlords to resolve the situations informally, but the Licensing schemes do give us additional powers for formal enforcement action, which we will use if we need to.”

More about the Licensing schemes, details of the properties they cover and how landlords can apply for the required licence, can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/Licensing-Schemes .

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