The trial of a new scheme has been launched in Oldham to encourage landlords to do what they can to improve the standards of the properties in their portfolios.
Oldham council believes that a cash incentive should encourage landlords to make changes to improve sub-standard housing conditions, in order to ensure that they meet minimum housing standards.
The aim of this trial is to bring in changes to current property standards, resulting in a minimum standard that must be met. Landlords will receive their cash incentives after signing a contract with the council.
There has been a rise in demand for rental accommodation within the Greater Manchester town, and the council feels there is a need to make improvements to its private rented sector (PRS), in order to provide better quality housing.
The social housing sector is currently seeing an imbalance due to the on-going shortage battling with the increase in demand for social housing. The council has been left with little alternative but to take action to make the PRS a more desirable option for those looking for somewhere to live.
There will also be the introduction of a bond scheme in order to help support tenants and provide a further incentive to landlords to sign up to the trial. It will guarantee that landlords will be able to claim money from the council if their property is not left in an acceptable condition after a tenant has moved out. This is usually the equivalent of one month’s rent.
Albert Margai, the council’s principal housing market intervention officer, has released a report that has revealed the high demand for social housing in Oldham. It is apparently now three times higher than in the neighbouring area of Bury, Rochdale and Tameside.
“The lack of sufficient social rented housing placed an enormous demand on the private sector to address the growing demand for housing,” he states.
“The demand for private rented accommodation in Oldham has been unprecedented, demonstrated by record numbers of applicants approaching Oldham Housing Advice Service.
“The increased pressures led to the emergence of low demand areas in Oldham, rife with predominately out-dated pre 1919 terraced housing stock.”