Gove £14 million enforcement PRS landlords 

19 Jan 23

A Good Landlord Charter – described as the first of its kind in the UK – is being created by a string of bodies, including groups representing tenants.

Former Labour Cabinet minister Andy Burnham, now mayor of Greater Manchester, is leading the project which he says will include “registered providers, trade bodies, and renters’ groups.”

A statement from Burnham’s office says the Good Landlord Charter will “reaffirm Greater Manchester’s commitment to deliver safe, decent, and affordable housing for all residents, and acknowledge that housing is fundamental to people’s health and wellbeing.”

Covering both the private and social housing sectors, Burnham says of the new charter: “Bringing forward a Good Landlord Charter was a commitment I made back in 2021, and right now the case for raising standards, tightening regulations, and empowering tenants has never been stronger. Once again, Greater Manchester is leading the way and making a decisive move towards a new approach – one that we hope will join the dots between housing, health, wellbeing, and everything in between.

“From the way he led the government response to the appalling death of Awaab Ishak in Rochdale, I know that the Secretary of State understands the importance of this, and why we need better housing, stronger enforcement, and greater accountability across the board. 

“So do many partners across our city-region’s social and private rented sector – which is why we want to work with them to create a Charter that is as fair and robust as possible, and establishes a clear set of expectations for landlords and tenants.

“Our devolution journey has already enabled us to make a difference to people’s lives by integrating public services and aligning priorities right across the system. Our ongoing trailblazer talks now present an opportunity for us to work with government and go even further, with greater powers and responsibility at local level, and housing is a key priority for us in this process.”

Currently, social housing providers are subject to a national set of regulatory standards, covering economic and consumer responsibilities, while a different set of standards applies to the private rented sector. But Burnham’s ambition is that a Greater Manchester Good Landlord Charter will give both sectors a clear route map to raising standards in all rented homes.

As with Manchester’s Good Employment Charter, landlords and housing providers will receive recognition for upholding the standards and principles set out in the Good Landlord Charter.

Development of the Charter will be informed “by research commissioned to gauge the views of tenants and landlords about the issues that matter to them” says Burnham. That development process is set to conclude later this year.

In December applications opened for a new trainee programme funded through the Greater Manchester Good Landlord Scheme, which is creating 10 new roles to increase capacity in housing enforcement across the city-region.

Over the course of a three-year placement, trainees will develop a range of skills in housing enforcement, deploying the unique powers that officers have to advise landlords of their responsibilities and act where they find bad practices and poor-quality housing. They will work to support tenants struggling with homes that may be damp, cold, insecure, or structurally unsound, gathering evidence and taking legal action against the worst offending landlords.

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