Landlords and agents co-regulating Liverpool’s private rented sector

We have recently finished a review of Liverpool City Council’s co-regulation of the city-wide selective licensing scheme.


Liverpool is the only council across the country to run such a scheme, where landlord and agent organisations – RLA, ARLA and Safeagent – co-regulate alongside the council. The principle is that the sector regulates itself and works with the local authority to expose and tackle bad landlords.


We reviewed the co-regulation by examining national policy and practice documents; assessing Liverpool’s statistics, audit reports and wider information; and interviewing Council officers, the co-regulators and wider stakeholders.


We found that landlords and agents benefited from discounts, while co-regulators gained new members and a boosted reputation. Co-regulation offers a better working arrangement between Liverpool Council and the sector, yet any future scheme needs to be clearer about responsibilities on complaints and inspections.


Phillip Stanley, Liverpool’s Co-Regulation Co-ordinator, said: “I am delighted to recommend M·E·L Research. The organisation was able to turnaround a complex research project for us in less than a month and delivered a well written, clear and balanced report which had relevant recommendations. There was good working relationship and the project benefited from focussed information and discussions right from the start. I was also pleased that MEL were able to engage with a number of different stakeholders including our staff to help make the study transparent and invite different opinions”.


You can read more about our wider work in the private rented sector here, including several case studies.

MRS Evidence Matters