May 17, 2024 11:33 am

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

Andy Burnham, the recently re-elected Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester, has announced plans to allocate £600,000 from council tax funds to implement measures aimed at improving the rental sector. This initiative includes the introduction of a comprehensive Good Landlord Charter, which is set to be rolled out later this year. The charter seeks to establish clear, practical, and accessible standards designed to elevate the quality of rental properties throughout Greater Manchester. By providing landlords with specific guidelines, the aim is to drive up standards and ensure that tenants have access to safe and well-maintained accommodation.

In addition to the Good Landlord Charter, Burnham’s plan includes the implementation of a Property Check scheme. Under this scheme, tenants will have the right to request property inspections conducted by local teams. These inspections will serve to identify any issues with rental properties, and enforcement action will be taken where necessary to address these concerns. By empowering tenants to raise concerns and facilitating proactive inspections, the scheme aims to improve living conditions and hold landlords accountable for maintaining their properties to the required standards. Burnham’s efforts come in response to data indicating that a significant proportion of rental properties in Greater Manchester fail to meet the legal Decent Homes Standard. With around 23% of private rented homes and nearly 17% of all rented homes falling short of these standards, there is a pressing need for action to address substandard housing. Moreover, Burnham suggests that the true extent of the problem may be even greater, with many tenants feeling reluctant to report issues for fear of eviction. As such, the initiatives announced by Burnham aim to not only improve housing standards but also empower tenants to assert their rights and seek redress for any grievances they may have regarding their living conditions.


According to his council’s recent survey of private tenants in Greater Manchester, the following issues were reported by tenants over the past year:

  • 43% experienced damp and mould.
  • 31% had been without hot water or central heating.
  • 20% experienced broken electrics.
  • 20% were living in a property with a leaky roof.
  • 12% were living with a pest infestation.

The Labour council of Greater Manchester is allocating £150,000 towards a pilot initiative in collaboration with Salford City Council and the central government. The aim is to assess the effectiveness and proactive utilization of these checks, aiding in the identification of properties that do not meet the Decent Homes Standard. This standard, according to Burnham, is anticipated to become a legal requirement with the enactment of the Renters Reform Bill later this year.


Additionally, two other projects are set to be implemented:

Addressing illegal evictions: The Renters Reform Bill will introduce a fresh obligation on local authorities to combat unlawful evictions and tenant harassment. Greater Manchester is dedicating £300,000 towards establishing a new team of housing law specialists. This team will offer advocacy and assistance to renters while enhancing enforcement capabilities.

Leveraging the benefits system for enhanced standards: Upon the Renters Reform Bill’s enactment, it will be unlawful for landlords to lease properties that fall short of the Decent Homes Standard. To support this initiative, £150,000 is being allocated for a new pilot program in collaboration with Oldham Council. This pilot aims to explore collaborative efforts among authorities to reclaim housing benefits from landlords who let out substandard accommodations.

Burnham underscores the importance of the initiative, affirming, “Today marks the next phase in Greater Manchester’s efforts to address the housing crisis and prioritize housing standards. Everyone in our city-region deserves a quality, safe, and stable home. It should serve as the foundation for a fulfilling life, free from health hazards and anxieties.”

He acknowledges the ongoing challenges, lamenting, “Regrettably, many individuals in Greater Manchester still endure substandard living conditions and fear illegal eviction. However, the era of negligent landlords letting out hazardous properties is drawing to a close. This new entitlement to property checks for all residents, coupled with enhanced measures to safeguard renters and combat unscrupulous landlords, will empower individuals throughout Greater Manchester.”

Burnham remains optimistic about the future, stating, “This new right to a property check for all residents, backed up with new measures to protect renters and take action against rogue landlords, will empower people across Greater Manchester and put us on course to become the UK’s only Housing First city-region.”



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