Greater Manchester Mayor sets out new policy to deal with rogue landlords

The Mayor of Greater Manchester has revealed that he is in favour of an amnesty to drive rogue landlords out of the private rented sector.

Andy Burnham said he is prepared to buy up properties from landlords who are unwilling to bring them up to acceptable standards as part of the policy.

He wants to introduce a Good Landlord Scheme that would include a set of principles for landlords to sign up to commit to providing a certain standard of service and accommodation.

But Burnham told the Residential Landlord Association’s Future Renting North conference that there are still too many bad landlords and it was time to tackle what he described as an ‘epidemic of insecurity’.

‘Safe, decent housing should be a human right as healthcare and education are. We need to isolate those that are giving the sector a bad name,’ he said. He told landlords that he wants to work with the industry to establish what is reasonable and fair, taking into account what landlords should be expected to provide.

‘The fact that you are at the conference today shows that you want to be reputable and do things properly. The 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,’ Burnham told the audience.

He confirmed plans are underway and he would announce more details about the criteria for judging unsuitable landlords and the basis of the buyout deal. When asked if he could be accused of rewarding bad landlords by offering them market price for their home, he said that would not necessarily be the case.

‘If people want to exit the market we will facilitate that,’ he added. It is expected that the new policy could be fully announced in a couple of months and implemented with 12 to 18 months.