Too many Oldham residents live in substandard private rented accommodation, often paying high rents for homes that are unsafe, expensive or ill-suited.
13.6% of Oldham’s private homes were in disrepair in 2015, compared to national averages of 5%. Damp, unfit and cold housing can have significant health implications.
Levels of home-ownership in Oldham are lower than GM and England averages, and falling. Meanwhile rents are rising particularly quickly at the lower end of the market.
Market “tightening” means it’s difficult to move on from a bad property, and incentives for landlords to maintain homes are reduced.
“Selective licencing” is used in eight neighbourhoods. Landlords operating in these areas must purchase a licence and meet certain standards, with over 1,200 enforcement notices having been served to date.
The council is exploring other interventions aimed at driving up standards in “Housing Action Areas”.
Frontline health and social care staff will be asked to report cold or unsafe homes as part of their assessment and care pathways.
The council is exploring how to enforce new regulations setting minimum standards for rented properties before a tenancy can be agreed.
The council is looking to stimulate the building of more homes (and more of the homes we need), through the Housing Strategy 2019, reducing pressure on the rental market.
The tenancy relations service will be brought under direct council control from 1st July 2019, providing advice to tenants and landlords.
Holding drop-in sessions and community forums where there are large numbers of private rented homes, to identify particular issues and concerns.
Working with partners to build power and collaboration amongst tenants in the borough, tackling bad landlords together and sharing information and support.
Building community activism, enhancing a shared sense of ownership and responsibility, and encouraging activities like litter-picks and “play streets”.