The National Landlords’ Association (NLA) has called on landlords and tenants in Liverpool to unite against costly measures that could increase rents and diminish the availability of housing in the city.

The call comes after Liverpool City Council began consulting on proposals to introduce citywide licensing of landlords last week.

The measures would see all landlords in Liverpool required to obtain a license to let out property.

At a cost of £500 per property, there are fears that the cost of licensing will be transferred on to tenants as higher rents, while investment in the area’s housing will dwindle.

If a landlord has a portfolio of properties the costs could be damaging, potentially running into thousands of pounds.

The proposal will see the introduction of burdensome rules which will not improve the housing stock and landlords will be expected to control visitors to properties as well as manage anti-social behaviour.

Liverpool City Council cites a long-term trend of depopulation in Liverpool as a reason for introducing the measures, one of the legal triggers that allows councils to take action and consider licensing proposals.

However, the NLA believes a more targeted ward by ward approach, concentrating on the worst, is more appropriate.

The NLA is hosting an emergency consultation meeting on 10th April and urges all landlords in the area to attend, along with their tenants and help the city of Liverpool unite and put a stop to the proposals.

Tom Reynolds, the NLA’s Liverpool representative, said the council is trying to act under the radar by not making the consultation front page news:

“There is clearly a strong desire to push through these proposals but the council has not done enough to make landlords or tenants aware that the consultation is live and that they can have their say,” he said.

“We’ve only just discovered the consultation is now open even though it began more than a week ago.

“There is a lack of any clear rationale of how licensing landlords will improve the issue of depopulation in Liverpool and make the area more attractive in the future.

“Far from having this intended effect, it will actually make investing in properties in Liverpool a less attractive prospect for landlords and will only serve to decrease the amount of affordable housing in Liverpool.

“Furthermore, it will mean increases in rents as the rising costs of housing provision are transferred on to tenants in the area.

“The NLA consultation meeting will discuss how the people of Liverpool can influence the decision and find out how to have their say in the fight against introducing these damaging and costly proposals.”