A pilot scheme has been launched with a view to improving property standards, increasing awareness, boosting engagement and increasing housing supply within Oldham’s private rented market.
The council is hoping to use cash incentives to encourage private landlords to improve sub-standard rented homes in Oldham to ensure that they meet minimum housing standards.
The trial new policy would see minimum property standards introduced, with landlords paid a cash incentive when they sign a contract with the council.
With demand for rental accommodation increasing in Oldham, the council is keen to improve standards in the local private rented sector (PRS) in the hope that it will lead to better quality housing.
A chronic shortage of social housing in Oldham has led to a major supply-demand imbalance in the social housing sector, leaving the council with little alternative but to try and encourage more people to consider living in the PRS.
To help support tenants and further incentives landlords to sign up to the initiative, a bond scheme is also being introduced which guarantees that the landlord can claim money from the council, normally equivalent to one month’s rent, if their property is not left in a suitable condition once the tenant moves out.
Demand for social housing in Oldham is currently three times higher than its neighbouring authorities, Bury, Rochdale and Tameside, according to a report by Albert Margai, the Oldham Council’s principal housing market intervention officer.
He said: “The lack of sufficient social rented housing placed an enormous demand on the private sector to address the growing demand for housing.”
“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“The increased pressures led to the emergence of low demand areas in Oldham, rife with predominately outdated pre 1919 terraced housing stock.”