Sefton’s private rented sector (PRS) has increased by 64% between 2001 and 2011 and has continued to grow and owner occupation has fallen. In six wards, located in Southport, Waterloo/Seaforth and Bootle, the PRS exceeds the national average [2011 census]. The PRS now accounts for 20% of all dwellings nationally, and is likely to increase to 22-25% over the next decade.
Sefton Council proposed introducing Selective and Additional (HMO) Licensing schemes for privately rented properties across selected areas of the Borough. The council believes that licensing will lead to an improvement of management and property conditions across the designated areas and subsequently commissioned M·E·L Research in early 2017 to undertake a consultation on the proposals.
The public consultation took place over a 12-week period (1st April 2017 to the 24th June 2017). A range of methods to consult with landlords, local residents, tenants, businesses and organisations in Sefton, local stakeholders and neighbouring local authority areas, were adopted for the consultation. This included:
In total 1,997 respondents took part in the survey, along with verbal feedback provided via other forums (results via each method are highlighted above). The results showed that 85% were in support of introducing Selective Licensing and 84% in support of Additional Licensing in identified areas of the borough. A report went to cabinet in September 2017 and a designation was made in October 2017, with both additional and selective licensing being introduced in March 2018.