Private Rented Sector Strategy 2020-2025
- Meeting of Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee, Wednesday, 4th March, 2020 2.00 pm (Item 21.)
Strategic Director Growth and Development
This report provides the committee with a progress update on the Market Rental Strategy and sets out the key themes for a draft Private Rented Sector (PRS) strategy for the city.
The Committee considered the report of the Strategic Director Growth and Development) that provided the committee with a progress update on the Market Rental Strategy and sets out the key themes for a draft Private Rented Sector (PRS) strategy for the city.
The Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration referred to the main points and themes within the report which included: -
· Providing a background and context of the private rented sector, both nationally and locally;
· An overview of the interventions delivered via the Market Rental Strategy 2015-20;
· Information on the approach to reviewing the strategy, including feedback from both renters and landlords;
· An overview of the Private Rented Sector Strategy 2020-2025, noting that the refreshed strategy would continue to focus on the areas that were most
challenging, targeting resources to improve housing outcomes for some of our most vulnerable residents;
· The approach to short term lettings;
· Information on a range of Greater Manchester (GM) Initiatives;
· Strategic themes;
· The approach to delivering zero carbon and retrofitting properties;
· The approach to fire safety; and
· Next steps.
To supplement the report, the Committee received a presentation that further described the activities listed above. It further provided information on the place-based partnership work with Registered Providers and the One Manchester intervention rationale, that included using Affordable Housing Programme grant to acquire further homes from the private sector for refurbishment at an affordable rent (at Local Housing Allowance levels) and shared ownership options.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -
· Had there been any update following the Government’s consultation on the use of Section 21 notices (Notice to Quit);
· Supporting the work to address empty properties;
· What work was being done to address short term lets;
· What was the approach to signposting tenants to obtain advice and information on their rights;
· How many improvement or compliance notices had been issued to private landlords outside of the designated Selective Licensing areas; and
· What training was offered to private landlords.
The Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration stated that despite reference being made to Section 21s in the Queen’s speech, to date no further details had been made known and she was not confident that the Government had any intention to protect tenants in the PRS from unfair evictions. She further advised that work was ongoing with the Communications Team to promote sources of advice and information for tenants in the PRS.
The Interim Director for Housing and Residential Growth informed the Members that the Private Rented Sector Strategy 2020-2025 would seek to address the issue of empty properties and short term lets.
The Neighbourhood Manager, Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Housing stated that training had been delivered to landlords, that included information on property standards and the intention was to develop and deliver this training further. In response to the specific question regarding the number of notices issued outside of designated Selective Licensing areas, she stated this information would be circulated following the meeting.
To note the report.