Manchester launches hub to crack down on rogue landlords

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority is set to launch a rogue landlord hub, with a £128,000 allocation from the UK Government’s £2 billion fund to crackdown on rogue landlords. It will help ensure the minority of landlords who don’t provide safe and comfortable housing, can be prosecuted and tenants can more easily make and follow up on a complaint.

The first plan for the new hub is to promote the Fitness for Human Habitation Act which came into force in March. While Greater Manchester’s rogue landlord hub is set to run for just three months initially, it is expected to help encourage closer collaboration across Manchester’s 10 districts.

It will also help develop a best practise model for identifying rogue landlords and ensuring all tenants have access to homes that are suitable and safe to live in.

Greater Manchester’s Mayor wants to ‘get renting right’

Greater Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham said the Government Rogue Landlord funding will help the city improve further on its rental market to provide all tenants with habitable homes.

“The majority of landlords in Greater Manchester provide decent homes and abide the law, but with this funding GMCA will be able to more easily bring negligent landlords to task,” Burnham said when GMCA announced the news.

“The establishment of this hub is just the starting point for a wave of activity we’re planning to improve Greater Manchester’s private renting offer – for both tenants and landlords. We’re also exploring options for an ethical lettings agency and working up a scheme designed to showcase the region’s good landlords and call out the bad. We’re determined to get renting right,” he added.

According to figures from the GMCA, in 2017, the tenure of just over 60% of homes across Greater Manchester was owner-occupier, leaving a little under 40% of homes lived in by tenants.

With that level of renters across the region, Mayor Andy Burnham is working to ensure the housing policy for Great Manchester supports that large number of tenants.

UK-wide rogue landlord crackdown

This latest announcement of a rogue landlord hub across Greater Manchester comes just a few months after the UK Government committed a £2 billion fund to help the regions support tenants and punish rogue landlords.

The increased scrutiny on landlords comes as the private rental sector is housing an increasing proportion of the UK’s population, as home building rates remain inadequate and the value of property continues to rise.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham’s comments reflect those made by UK Housing and Communities minister, Heather Wheeler MP.

“Everyone deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure, and it is vital we crack down on the small minority of landlords who are not giving their tenants this security,” she said. “This funding will help further strengthen councils’ powers to tackle rogue landlords and ensure that poor-quality homes in their area are improved, making the housing market fairer for everyone.”

Although, how much progress on the hub can be made and action taken across Manchester, in just three months, remains to be seen.