Selective Licensing is now live (Monday 22 January 2018) in areas of Moston and Old Moat in a move that will improve housing standards in the wards.
The areas are part of a third licensing designation following similar schemes launched in the last year in Crumpsall and Moss Side & Rusholme, and will focus on 706 private rented properties.
Selective Licensing is a focused programme that requires landlords or managing agents to licence their properties if they rent a home in a specific area. Landlords have three months from the beginning of the designation to apply for a licence.
Licensing privately rented properties includes mandatory conditions to ensure good management of private properties, including:
- An up to date gas and electric safety certificate
- Safe condition of electrical appliances
- Fitted smoke detectors in a working condition
- Providing the tenant with a written tenancy agreement
- Demand a reference for prospective tenants
- The city council can also attach specific conditions to improve specific issues
A landlord must apply for a licence if they rent a property in the licensable area and can be fined for not obtaining a licence. Council officers will then carry out compliance checks to ensure licensed Landlords are fulfilling the requirements of the scheme.
The Crumpsall ward hosted the first pilot scheme for the new approach to Selective Licensing in the city and went live in December 2016. Of 358 properties, there remains only one property that is currently licensable that has an application outstanding, and the licensing team are following this up with the owner.
30 properties in the Crumpsall scheme have been identified for a compliance inspection, and of those that have already been carried out, the majority of properties were found to be broadly compliant.
Six properties that have undergone inspections found category two hazards - which are less serious than category one, but can include anything from damp, structural issues, or fire hazards. Four of these properties are now compliant and the other two properties have works currently on-going to remove the hazard.
The second of the cities Selective Licence schemes in areas of Moss Side and Rusholme covering 1,221 properties came into force on the 8th January 2018. The 3 month grace period has now concluded. To date 650 applications (53%) have been received.
Enforcement letters and officer visits will now commence to the remaining properties that are required to apply for a licence.
A significant number of applications received from previous designations have shown gas safety certificates dated only days prior to the application being received, showing that the licensing process has urged landlords to have gas supplies checked and ensure tenant safety.
Cllr Garry Bridges, Manchester City Council’s lead member for Selective Licensing, said: “We are seeing great results in landlords coming forward to ensure their properties are fully compliant with the licensing requirements, which means residents can be reassured that their home is safe and they can sleep soundly in their beds.
“Enforcement officers will work quickly to contact property owners that have yet to engage with our licensing team to ensure all the properties in the designations are safe and tenants are assured that safety standards are met.
“Need for high quality private sector housing is growing quickly in the city, and the role of our existing housing stock is going to be very important to ensure we can meet demand - and our selective licensing scheme has an important role to help make sure privately owned rentals are up to standard.”
The full designation list for Moston and Old Moat licence scheme here: www.manchester.gov.uk/selectivelicence