Drug dens, rotten staircases and the constant fear of being illegally evicted are just some of the problems plaguing tenants in Liverpool's modern day slum housing.

Across the city, families are stuck living in poor quality and dangerous housing due to rogue landlords who refuse to follow the rules.

Since 2015, Liverpool Council has fought to stamp out slum landlords with their successful licensing scheme, which has improved the lives of many tenants.

The scheme, which is backed by Merseyside Police and the fire service, means all private landlords must obtain a licence for their rented properties and prove they are "fit and proper."

Problems including anti-social behaviour, unsafe living conditions and eviction fears were all targeted as part of a crackdown on substandard living conditions and anti-social behaviour carried out in Anfield back in 2018.

Targeted enforcement was concentrated on three 'problematic streets' - Sedley, Pendennis and Newcombe, resulting in positive changes for a number of residents.

But these troubling housing conditions were highlighted again as the council fought to extend its landlord licensing scheme, which is designed to stamp out the squalid and sometimes dangerous conditions inspectors have found over the years.

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A recent report presented to Liverpool Council's Housing Select Committee on August 19 offered a glimpse at some of the poor living conditions tenants have become trapped in over the years.

The report presented to the council's Housing Select Committee was designed to highlight the success of the landlord licensing scheme from 2015-2020.

Liverpool Council is currently consulting on a revised scheme after the Conservative government rejected its application for a city-wide scheme earlier this year.

The new proposed scheme would cover about half of the wards in the local authority and around 80% of relevant properties.

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for housing, Councillor Lynnie Hinnigan, said: ““All the evidence over the last five years shows landlord licensing made a massive difference to the lives of our most vulnerable residents.

“Rogue landlords were compelled to take action to improve electrical and fire safety standards, as well as dealing with issues such as damp and anti-social behaviour.

“Using our powers under the licensing scheme to proactively address poor management of properties meant we tackled head on the dangerous living conditions that contribute to poor health such as excess cold.

“This life-saving scheme ensures landlords meet their obligations and put in smoke detectors and fire doors as required by law.

“It is vital that we have a new landlord licensing scheme and we want as many people as possible to give us feedback on our current consultation proposal and have their say.”

*Consultation on the new scheme ends on October 26 and can be found here.

The Anfield crackdown which took place on July 24 and 26, 2018, saw 75 properties scheduled for inspection.

As part of the enforcement operation, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service fitted nine smoke alarms in properties where they weren't working or weren't present.

There had been anonymous complaints about four licensed properties allegedly being used as drug dens.

Landlord Licensing contacted the landlords of these properties who took immediate action - and tenant was eventually evicted legally due to their behaviour.

In another property, a single mum was found to be living in an unlicensed and hazardous property with her two children.

Photos talen by Liverpool Council's Landlord Licensing team as part of a day of enforcement in Anfield in July 2018

The property had an open drain to the rear yard and a back door that was propped shut with a brush, as well as a boiler which was only working intermittently.

There were also missing handrails, missing smoke alarms and electrical hazards. The landlord was served legal notices and all works are complete and a licence applied for.

This tenant, who remains anonymous in the report, said she would never have complained because she was terrified of being illegally evicted.

In another property, a single mum living with her young son had only locked windows with no key, plus a poorly maintained back garden which was attracting vermin.

The report states: "This was raised on the compliance visit in the presence of the managing agent and tenant and then addressed through the compliance procedure in the form of a letter to the licence holder and the licence holder responded to this informal approach accordingly."

Elsewhere in Anfield, a property was found to have rotten stairs with missing rungs heading down to the cellar. This was fixed by the landlord without formal enforcement action, thanks to landlord licensing officers getting their foot in the door.

Perhaps one of the most shocking discoveries was inside a three bedroom property which was being illegally sublet as an 18-bed bed and breakfast.

Complaints had been made about 'anti-social and drunken behaviour' as well as allegations of sex workers visiting the premises.

The report states: "Possession proceedings have been served on the tenant who was sub-letting and using the property as a B&B."

In January this year, Conservative Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has rejected Liverpool Council's application to continue the scheme that has been widely regarded as a major success since it was brought in in 2015.

The local authority said the shock decision will severely hamper attempts to drive up standards in the private rental sector and keep vulnerable tenants safe – particularly in relation to fire safety in rented properties.