A pioneering project is matching private landlords with tenant management skills in a local housing association.
Salford council and the Irwell Valley Homes housing association have teamed up to launch the first training course in the country for private landlords whose tenants may be experiencing or causing problems.
The aim is to sustain tenancies by helping landlords draw up a clear action plan around domestic abuse, hate crime, hoarding and anti-social behaviour to avoid evictions.
However, the course also sets out the correct legal procedures which landlords need to follow if it does become necessary to end the tenancy.
The scheme is also offering free mediation between private landlords and their tenants and one to one help if required. Private rented sector tenancies now make up a third of Salford’s housing market.
A council spokesperson says: “Anti-social behaviour is a blight on communities, and this is part of a package of measures we are using to deal with it.
“Social housing providers have established processes to tackle anti-social behaviour, hate crime and domestic abuse firmly but fairly. It makes sense to use their experience, knowledge and best practice in training to help private landlords who may never have experienced such issues before.
“Our aim is to help landlords to deal with the issues either through their own actions or mediation so the problems stop and tenants don’t lose their homes. That way everyone benefits.
“Fifty private landlords have already ‘road-tested’ the training and said they found it helpful. Very few of them had experienced problems but say they now feel more confident about recognising and dealing with issues if things should go wrong.”
And Linda Levin of Irwell Valley Homes adds: “As a not-for-profit housing provider, we know the real impact that anti social behaviour has on communities. That's why we have dedicated ASB teams and robust and regulated processes in place to deal with this.
“However, we understand that private landlords do not have these resources and that's why all too often, when ASB occurs in private rented homes, the tenant loses their home.
“We believe that by working together with private landlords, our ASB specialist can help them to successfully resolve issues and leave eviction as the last resort.
“This training, that our ASB specialist has developed, will provide private landlords across Salford with the tools and support to work with their tenants and other involved parties, such as social housing landlords, the police and local authority, to resolve any ASB, sustain more tenancies and improve the communities they are part of.”
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