Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has proposed an amnesty to drive rogue landlords from the region’s private rented sector.
Speaking at the Residential Landlord Association’s Future Renting North conference today the mayor said he wants to buy up properties from landlords unwilling to bring them up to standard, saying they have no place in Greater Manchester.
He used the conference to put flesh on the bones of his plan to introduce a Good Landlord Scheme in the region – and committed to working with the Residential Landlords Association to make this a reality.
Addressing the 200 strong audience at the Concorde Conference Centre said that although the plans are in their early stages he believes they have the capacity to transform renting in the region.
He told the landlord audience that their attendance at the conference proved their commitment to getting it right and providing a good service to their tenants.
However, he pulled no punches and said there are still too many bad landlords out there and that things need to change, to tackle what he described as the ‘epidemic of insecurity’.
He said: “Safe, decent housing should be a human right as healthcare and education is.
“The fact that you are at the conference today shows that you want to be reputable and do things properly. Truth of the matter is this doesn’t apply to the whole of the private rented sector.
“We need to isolate those that are giving the sector a bad name.
“We will work with you to establish what’s reasonable, what’s fair and what landlords should be expected to provide.”
He then announced plans for the amnesty for private landlords who don’t look after or invest in their properties.
Speaking after speech he said the proposals are in their early stages – and could not – or would not give details of what the buy-out package would be.
When asked if he could be accused of rewarding bad landlords by offering them market price for their home, he simply replied: “Who said anything about market values?
“However if people want to exit the market we will facilitate that.”
He said that while plans have yet to be finalised the Good Landlord Scheme will include a set of principles for landlords to subscribe to, to prove they are committed to providing a certain standard of service and accommodation.
The mayor said he plans to reveal a new housing policy in June, with a rough timescale of 12-18 months for the Good Landlord Scheme to be implemented.
He also made a firm commitment to working closely with the RLA to develop the scheme.
The association is now arranging meetings with the mayor and his team to discuss proposals further.