Please Note: This Article is 8 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

Manchester City council says it has some ‘deep seated’ concerns over the quality of rented housing in some parts of the city and is now planning to adopt a ‘carrot and stick’ approach to improve landlord behaviour.

As reported in the Manchester Evening News by Jennifer Williams, Manchester City Hall bosses are to launch a radical ‘zero tolerance’ crackdown on slum landlords, but at the same time potentially giving a tax break to the good ones.

As part of the region’s Devolution Agreement*, agreed last year with Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, the council is considering asking the government for new powers to give good, accredited landlords a tax break – and take tougher action on the bad ones.

Manchester wants to introduce ‘tailored’ powers to deal with the ‘small number’ of rogue landlords within the city, arguing it is currently restricted by a one-size-fits-all approach from central government.

The council wants to retain money it collects in fines from landlords found to have broken the law, instead of handing it over to the Treasury.

The council is not discounting the possibility of entering the rental market itself in the private rented sector (PRS) in a move to ensure rented houses and flats are decent quality and well-managed.

Ruling out the path many other councils have gone down by introducing licensing, which is says is very expensive and produces ‘mixed’ results, the council plans to introduce a ‘rental pledge’ that will spell out the expectations of both the industry and tenants – a measure which has been introduced in Liverpool and London.

Manchester’s planned strategy aims to support growth in the city’s private rental sector, with 55,000 new homes created in the last 13 years, but remains concerned about the market’s image which is ‘fragile’ with much good work ‘undone by a few rogue landlords and letting agents’.

The crackdown will in particular target landlords, agents and neighbourhoods’ where there is a growing number of a flats above shops, and council concerns over living conditions within them.

Rusholme and the student heartlands of Fallowfield and Withington have been pointed out as particular blackspots.

The council will support landlords and agents by offering industry accreditation and training to repeat offenders – but at the same time send out a ‘tough’ enforcement message in a ‘zero tolerance’ approach.

To maximise the impact of limited resources the council is looking to work closely with letting industry bodies and other agencies to focus on problem neighbourhoods.

*Greater Manchester Agreement: Devolution to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and
transition to a directly elected Mayor.

Please Note: This Article is 8 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


  1. You’re paying for the decline of your area to fund Osborne’s plan of turning manchester into a ‘little london’ (but without the history or the culture) through a criminally anti-democratic process.

    The media are either based in manchester or serve the establishment, so they don’t reveal George Osborne is a manc. In the name of ‘decentralisation’, he has been funneling almost all the funds for everywhere outside London directly into manchester’s coffers.

    The devo manc deal was an excuse to simply give them £2bn – despite
    mancs already voting against a mayor. Why Leeds didn’t get a similar deal when agreed? Half a billion will also be added to manchester’s govt funded trams while other cities have begged for similar projects but received nothing.
    A big chunk of the vast HS2/3 budget is being lavished on manchester too, tunnelling under the city, building a new station and linking it to their airport, while the govt even refuses to lay down just 20 miles of track to simply ‘plug into’ Liverpool (see Birmingham is being relegated to a thoroughfare, while places like Hull or Newcastle don’t even get a mention!

    Manchester, not Sheffield, will now be the place for a £250m science centre, the justification for which resorted to the fact the insipid Brian Cox is from manchester!

    Osborne also managed to sneak into his Autumn statement the plan to build a ludicrous £6bn tunnel from Sheffield to manchester!!!

    To add insult to injury, in this age of Austerity where every other city is having to close libraries, child care centres, etc just to survive, Osborne grants his fellow mancs a further £80m to build another theatre! His reasons being A) the council spent £1m to host a two week self-promoting event just 3 times then moaned about not having anywhere suitable to hold it B) he liked Tony Wilson, a man who abused his media position to hype up the mythical madchester and help his crime-ridden club the hacienda. Even mancunians are complaining about it – why build another theatre while their town is left in such an unappealing state?

    The main excuse used for all this is that greater manchester is a good example of harmonious governance and has a large population. That is far from true. Granted, the govt gave greater manchester huge areas of Lancashire while cutting regions like ‘Greater Liverpool’ almost in half, but Birmingham is double the size and the people of Wigan or Bolton etc also receive nothing from this huge misappropriation of funds.

    Now the govt is planning to move a chunk of Whitehall to manchester too, worth billions to the local economy, rather than spreading it out to other cities who have also provide more cost-effective alternatives.
    Osborne is following his hero the propagandist Tony Wilson’s model. He’s going around telling everyone manchester’s great, which he thinks therefore makes it great. But tell me, if manchester’s so wonderful, why does it always need huge funding from every govt it sells out to just to support its case to the detriment of everyone outside London?

    For me, cities like Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, are at least as good as manchester, and don’t let media bias tell you otherwise! Osborne is clearly just another self-serving manc like Bernstein or Leese, and it’s a great injustice to all. We all have a vote and thanks to the internet we also have a voice. Please use it!

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