Private properties and landlords requiring licences is becoming so common place that it would be easy to assume a national mandate had been written. However, this is not the case and Manchester City Council has learnt from previous schemes that licensing does not work. The Council is considering more targeted action for better results.
Manchester ran a selective licensing scheme for a full five years and concluded the scheme was not worth the time and money. This experience has led Councillors into considering alternatives to traditional licensing.
Some proposals include providing tax breaks to good landlords, while ‘zero tolerance’ sanctions on criminal landlords will send a clear message to perpetrators. The council is to lobby Government for new powers under the promises of devolution.
These powers would give the Council the ability to effectively target the small number of rogue landlords that tar the entire Private Rented Sector (PRS).
They also aim to deal with anti-social tenants who can cause as much misery to the sector as criminal landlords. Arguments that licensing as a ‘one size fits all’ for councils are starting to wear thin with landlords successfully challenging proposals, most notably, such as Enfield and Hyndburn.
The RLA is against licensing in general and welcomes Manchester Council’s progressive thinking. Further details are expected and hopefully the scheme will improve private renting in the Borough.
The RLA supports the notion of ‘Co-regulation’ where compliant landlords are allowed to self-regulate while others are subject to local authority regulation and enforcement.