Andy Burnham has vowed to come down hard on rogue landlords if he secures a second term as Greater Manchester’s mayor.
His manifesto promises to introduce a £1.5m Greater Manchester Good Landlord Charter in partnership with the city’s 10 councils to support landlord licensing and drive up standards in the private rented sector.
“We need to make it much easier for tenants to find out whether landlords are prepared to sign up to the basic standards required by the charter,” says Burnham.
“As part of this, we will support our 10 districts to develop landlord licensing schemes and ask Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service to support with enforcement of safety standards.”
Manchester Council has just finished a public consultation on its plans to introduce a widescale selective licensing scheme.
Nearly 1,800 properties are already covered under selective licensing schemes in Crumpsall, Moss Side, Moston and Old Moat; there are now plans for three new schemes covering 1,402 properties in parts of Clayton and Openshaw, Harpurhey, Gorton and Abbey Hey.
In March, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority – made up of the 10 councils and Burnham – launched proposals for a Good Landlord Scheme, funded by the £1.5m surpluses generated by the GM Housing Investment Loan Fund (HILF).
It proposes ensuring tenants and landlords have access to accurate and up-to-date information and advice as well as “strengthened and focused enforcement capacity”.
It says: “While enforcement powers lie at district level, there are clearly resource constraints on teams locally which GM HILF surpluses could help to redress. This enables us to directly support work to target the poorest quality and worst managed properties in the sector.”
Burnham’s other manifesto pledges include bringing more properties in the private sector under social housing standards by expanding the new Ethical Lettings Agency ‘Let Us’ and working with councils and housing partners to develop plans to build 30,000 zero-carbon homes for social rent.