Failing to apply for licence proves costly for Sefton landlord after successful Council prosecution

04 August 2023 3 min read

A local landlord who failed to license their property is facing costs of almost £36,000 after Sefton Council took them to court.


After a fire gutted the Bootle property, Sefton Council’s legal team prosecuted the landlord for failing to license the property between March 2018 and December 2022, when the fire took place.

The court sentenced the landlord to a fine of £35,000, the Council’s costs of £721.12 and a victim surcharge of £170.

During sentencing, the magistrates said a reckless failure to apply for licensing over a number of years, made the landlord highly culpable. They also said that if the property had been licensed, there was a greater chance that safety issues such as a complete lack of smoke detectors would have been dealt with.

You can use this link to find out more about Housing Licensing schemes in Sefton.


Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “This is a positive result for the Council and acts as a reminder to landlords that failing to obtain a licence under our Selective and Additional (HMO) Licensing schemes can be very costly.

“Specific areas of the Borough are covered by our Selective Licensing Scheme and two Additional (HMO) Licensing Schemes, and any landlords affected need to apply for licence by the end of August, or face enforcement by court action or a Civil Penalty fine.”


Almost 4,000 rented properties in Sefton are covered by the licensing schemes which, since their introduction in 2018, the Council has used to deal with 3,000 serious health and safety hazards. These have included problems with fire safety, electrical hazards, damp & mould and excess cold.

Since 2018, Sefton Council’s Housing Standards Team has served 79 Civil Penalty Fines for the offences of renting a property without the required licence or failure to comply with licensing conditions. The levels of fine can vary, but the maximum Civil Penalty fine for such an offence is £30,000.


Details of the Licensing schemes, including how to apply by the Thursday 31st August deadline, can be found at

Cllr Hardy added: “These schemes are an important way for Sefton Council to ensure health and safety standards for people living in private rented accommodation by enabling us to step in and deal with poor management and hazards tenants are facing.

“In most cases, we can work with landlords to resolve the situations informally, but as this recent case has shown, the Licensing schemes do give us additional powers for formal enforcement action, which we are fully prepared to use.” 

You can use this link to find out more about Housing Licensing schemes in Sefton.

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