Stephen Morris, English Democrats candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester, confirms Landlord Licensing Schemes in Greater Manchester will be abolished if elected.
“In areas in and around where selective landlord licensing has been operated (such as Blackburn, Burnley and Hartlepool) house prices have fallen dramatically compared to most other areas.
Increasingly mortgage lenders (following the lead of the state owned Royal Bank of Scotland) will not lend to buy property in landlord licensing areas. This may soon further reduce house prices there, as few people can buy without a mortgage.
In other areas with landlord licensing in Salford such as Broughton and Langworthy, Salford Council has been demolishing many homes in the area. They take advantage of low prices to pay homeowners little compensation.
Letting one’s own home temporarily (e.g. if one works away or can’t sell one’s home quickly) or even taking in a lodger becomes impractical with Landlord Licensing because of the costs, both direct and indirect.
As landlords don’t get extra rent to pay for the costs of licensing, they would prefer to invest in other areas, increasing the number of empty homes which creates blight.
Selective landlord licensing is only operated by a small minority of Labour Councils, mainly in Northern England—other councils don’t want it.
Even Manchester City Council abolished selective landlord licensing. Their Chief Executive indicated they now think it is better to work with rather than antagonise private landlords.”
In a recent article by the Residential Landlord Association they report: –
Alan Ward, Chairman of the RLA said: “At the RLA we oppose private landlord licensing schemes of this kind as they are both expensive and unnecessary. Local authorities already have access to landlords’ details via council tax forms. What they need to do is use this information to crack down on the minority of criminal landlords who are not managing their properties responsibly.”
“We also have concerns about any form of rent control. History shows us that when rent controls have been put in place the size and quality of the PRS has been adversely affected. When the UK last had rent controls, the size of the Private Rented Sector fell from more than half of households – 55% – in 1939 to just 8% in the late 1980s. This would be disastrous for Manchester. It will discourage landlords from letting properties – hitting supply. Rent controls also limit the landlord’s ability to adequately finance maintenance work. If Mr Burnham wants to increase the supply and quality of rental homes – as he says he does – this is the wrong way to go about it.”
Mr Ward added: “The RLA believes the supply of PRS homes is vital to tackling the UK housing crisis. Mr Burnham must recognise the contribution the PRS makes to the Manchester economy in providing homes for the young people and families who work in the city and surrounding areas. If he frustrates the housing market that can only have consequences for employers who want to attract people to work there. Any measures that he proposes should be seen to improve standards and tackle criminal landlords.”