The positive impact of Selective Licensing in Crumpsall has been outlined in a report going to Economy Scrutiny Committee (Thurs 23 June) as proposed new licensing areas across the city are announced.
The Selective Licensing Scheme in Crumpsall has now come to an end following a five year designation, which saw 372 properties licensed – and fines of £36,000 to landlords relating to housing offences enforced during the scheme.
There are currently seven live Selective Licensing areas in Manchester and a further eight areas have been proposed to help improve standards in the city’s private rented sector.
Selective Licensing allows Councils to introduce compulsory licences for all private rented properties in areas experiencing one or more of the following: significant and persistent problem caused by antisocial behaviour, poor property conditions, high levels of migration, high levels of deprivation, high levels of crime, low housing demand – or is likely to become such an area.
Councils are able to issue civil penalties of up to £30,000 or prosecute a landlord (with an unlimited fine) if they are not complying with the conditions of the licensing scheme. In extreme cases, Councils can also prevent the use of a property or assume control of a property.
Impact of Selective Licensing in Crumpsall
The initial scheme in Crumpsall has now come to an end after working with local landlords to licence 372 properties, which led to compliance inspections in 177 homes.
During inspection by Council officers, 18% of properties were found to have serious hazards and officers agreed appropriate timescales with landlords to complete necessary improvement works.
Through the licensing process, 31 non-compliant properties were found, including serious issues around fire safety, damp and mould, and excessive cold.
20 Improvement Notices were served on landlords ordering them to address property standards, while two prohibition notices and two suspended prohibition notices were served that prevent a dangerous property from being used until standards are improved.
Eight enforcement notices were issues to landlords ordering them to address issues around statutory nuisance. This relates to an activity which is either causing a nuisance or posing a health risk and unreasonably causes substantial interference in the use and enjoyment of a person's property.
Through the period of licensing in Crumpsall, six Civil Penalty Notices were issues to landlords relating to housing offences enforced during the scheme, including failure to comply with the conditions of the licensing scheme. This amounted to a total of £36,050 in fines, which will be used to support further work to improve the city’s Private Rented Sector.
New Selective Licensing Schemes
Eight future schemes of Selective Licensing already have executive approval based on analytical work of the local areas, which confirmed they meet the criteria for licensing.
Moss Side: Claremont Road / Great Western St – 346 PRS properties
Levenshulme: Matthews Lane – 264 PRS properties
Longsight: The Royals – 138 PRS properties
Cheetham - Esmond/Avondale – 162 PRS properties
Cheetham: Heywood St/Cheetham Hill Rd – 631 PRS properties
Rusholme: Birch Lane – 129 PRS properties
Rusholme: Laindon/Dickenson – 83 PRS properties
Cheetham: Flats Over Shops: Cheetham Hill Rd – 131 PRS properties
These schemes are subject to consultation with local residents, businesses and landlords. If agreed, these designations could come into effect in spring 2023.
Cllr Gavin White, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and development, said:
“Everyone in this city deserves a safe, secure and decent home. That’s why a key element of our new housing strategy is to work to continually improve the city’s private sector housing. And this means working with the sector through schemes like Selective Licensing to ensure good standards.
“Ultimately, Selective Licensing is designed to increase the professionalism to which privately rented homes are managed – and we can see clear evidence from the first scheme in Crumpsall that serious issues have been found and landlords have been ordered to do works to improve their properties for residents.
“Of course we know that the majority of landlords in the city do take their responsibility seriously. But interventions like property licensing mean we can be serious about tackling those landlords who seem content in renting out homes that are either poor quality or dangerous. There is no place for rogue landlords in our city.
“We want those landlords to know that this is unacceptable and we will do everything in our power to bring them to account. These 8 new schemes across the city will help us to achieve that.”
Initial designation of Selective Licensing (1,681 homes)
- Crumpsall – 13th March 2017 to 12th March 2022
- Moss Side – 8th Jan 2018 to 7th Jan 2023
- Moston – 23rd Apr 2018 to 22nd Apr 2023
- Old Moat – 23rd Apr 2018 to 22nd Apr 2023
Second designation of Selective Licensing (from Feb 2022)
- The Ladders - Gorton and Abbey Hey – 773 PRS properties
- Hyde Road - Gorton and Abbey Hey – 94 PRS properties
- Trinity – Harpurhey - 430 PRS properties
- Ben Street area - Clayton and Openshaw - 105 PRS properties