Developments like this and a glut in older terraced properties caused by new student accommodation emptying traditional areas are leading to many unlicensed and untaxed properties in places like Liverpool
Recent revelations about the property market in Liverpool have led me to receive a huge e-mail post bag (and snail mail) about problems faced by some tenants in the City and the neighbours who live close to properties where landlords don’t care about the hell their tenants create.
That’s why Liverpool Liberal Democrats are requesting an urgent review by the council of all private landlords in the City in both the residential and holiday let markets.
A recent review by Newham Council revealed that almost half of the private landlords in their borough were not paying tax to the HMRC. This is tax evasion on a huge scale. Reviews of the Land Registry also revealed that significant numbers of people with buy to let mortgages were not registering as landlords with the council and so were not having their properties checked for safety requirements. And probably not paying appropriate tax as well.
There also appears to be a problem in Liverpool with many properties registered on AirBnB not getting the required change in planning permission for using the whole of their premises for year-round, short term letting and thus avoiding safety checks, appropriate levels of council tax and possibly also HMRC evasion. The law is very clear that if properties are to be wholly let for more than 90 days a year planning permission must be changed because these types of tenancy can often cause problems and cumulatively can change the nature of an area.
By working with HMRC and our own excellent licensing staff we can drive up standards; ensure that safety requirements are properly undertaken and ensure that local and national taxes are properly paid.
These moves will also help Liverpool’s many good landlords who compete in the market place against unscrupulous landlords who undercut them and reduce safety standards.
Appended is the full motion submitted to the September council meeting:
Private Landlords, Planning permission and payment of tax
Council notes that in a recent exercise conducted by HMRC and the Council in Newham it was found that up to half of all private landlords registered in the Borough appeared not to be declaring their income to the tax authorities. It therefore requests the Mayor to:
- conduct a similar exercise with HMRC with a view to cracking down on poor quality landlords who do not pay their fair rate of tax to the Exchequer;
- Review all buy to let mortgages registered with the Land Registry with a view to ensuring that all landlords are properly registered and their properties checked for safety and other requirements;
- Review all AirBnB and similar advertised properties to ensure that they are properly registered and that planning permission has been obtained for the conversion of owner or permanent rented properties to short-term lets;
- Review all properties that are claiming council tax exemption to ensure that all their residents are fully certificated students as required for none payment of tax.