Bad landlords to be ‘stripped of their properties’ under proposed new rules

Bad landlords could be stripped of their properties under ambitious plans to overhaul Greater Manchester's rental sector, the region's mayor has revealed.

The end of bad landlords?

Andy Burnham is calling on the government to give the region the power to apply a mandatory standard to all rented homes, and a new set of tools to enforce improvements.

These would include a Greater Manchester property check inspection of all rented properties, which would also protect tenants from eviction if they report concerns about poor conditions such as mould and damp.

The announcement coincides with the debate over the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill in the House of Lords today (Tuesday, June 27) – a pivotal moment in the campaign for change following the tragic death of toddler Awaab Ishak in Rochdale as a result of damp conditions in the family’s housing association home.

Awaab’s Law

Awaab’s Law should ensure no social tenant faces the same issues, with strict timeframes to be placed on inspections and repairs for damp and mould.

Mr Burnham now wants ministers to grant Greater Manchester beefed-up powers to tackle the rental crisis locally through the framework of the city-region’s trailblazer devolution deal, with the aim of bringing them into force by autumn 2024.

This would give the ten councils in the region the ability to acquire privately rented properties from landlords who are ‘unable or unwilling to meet standards’.

Property improvement plans

A ‘property improvement plan’ could also be created for homes which would outline the exact works needed for landlords to get them up to standard and connect them with funding and skilled contractors.

In a speech, due to be delivered at the Housing 2023 conference in Manchester today, Mr Burnham will say they are setting themselves a 15-year target to deliver healthy homes ‘for all’ in Greater Manchester.

Healthy homes ‘for all’ in Greater Manchester

He will add: “Our national mission should be to give all people a good, secure home. It is a simple fact that you cannot achieve anything else in life without that foundation beneath you.

“You cannot level up any part of the UK when half of its housing stock is falling down and damaging the health of the people who live inside.

”Personally, I believe we will only get the sea change on housing that we need when we make a good, safe, secure home a human right in UK law.

“In simple terms, that means a home that doesn’t damage your physical health through damp, mould and other physical hazards and doesn’t harm your mental health because you live in fear of eviction.

“To achieve this, we are proposing a complete re-wiring of the system to put power in the hands of tenants – but, in doing so, make it work better for everyone: tenants, landlords and local communities.”

The new powers Mr Burnham is calling for would build on work already underway by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to develop a Good Landlord Charter with the aim of setting out clear, practical, and accessible standards to recognise good practice, empower tenants, and drive up the quality of renting in the city-region.

The ultimate aim would be to bring all rented homes across the conurbation up to the decent homes standard – which currently only applies to socially rented homes – by 2038.

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