Manchester Renting Pledge to improve city’s private rental sector

Private landlords, letting and managing agents and tenants across Manchester are being asked to sign a pledge that makes a commitment to making private renting better in the city.

The private rented sector is a fast growing and vital part of the city’s housing offer and the Manchester Renting Pledge aims to raise awareness of the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. 

In turn, this should raise standards and promote self-regulation in the private rented sector – encouraging landlords to show potential tenants they are determined to be a good landlord, and for tenants to commit to be being a good occupant.

The Manchester Rental Pledge was included as part of the city’s rental strategy that was approved by the city council’s Executive in January.

A major part of this strategy was to develop a quality private rented sector with well-managed, desirable accommodation – a key driver for economic growth.

The renting pledge will be officially adopted by the city council on 25 March 2015.

Cllr Jeff Smith, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “Manchester’s private rental sector is expanding more rapidly than any other UK city – now accounting for 27 per cent of the city’s residents – and will continue to expand as the city’s economy grows. 

 “It is essential that these properties offer high quality, well-managed accommodation and tenants have confidence in their landlord to act responsibly and provide a desirable home. In turn, landlords should have assurance that those tenants will look after their investment and pay their rent.

“The Manchester Renting Pledge has already received endorsement from the industry and through these commitments, Manchester renters are offered a genuine, long-term housing solution.”

Through the Manchester Renting Pledge, the tenant commits to:

- Looking after the property – and tell the landlord straight away if any repairs are needed and get permission to make improvements or do their own repairs

- Being a good neighbour – keeping noise down and making sure the area around the property is clean and tidy

- Paying rent on time – even if there is an on-going dispute with the landlord

Tenants will also have access to advice and information if they have a problem with their landlord.

The landlord commits to:

- Protecting a tenant’s deposit – through an approved deposit protection scheme

- Supplying a written tenancy agreement – which includes details about rent and other charges, how to pay, the length of the tenancy and how it can be ended. The tenancy agreement will also list the contents of the property, and their condition, and detail about who pays bills and council tax

- Providing a safe, comfortable, well-maintained home – that will have a gas safety certificate, annual gas checks, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and an energy performance certificate

- Giving contact details and notice – including emergency numbers and providing 24 hours notice if planning to visit

- Repairing problems promptly – especially if there is a risk to the tenant or property when the issue should be dealt with straight away

- Dealing with antisocial behaviour and nuisance – dealing with it quickly whether it is the tenant being troubled by other people’s behaviour or complaints against the tenant

- Looking after the outside of a property – both the exterior and outside areas of the building should be kept in a good condition

- Considering joining a professional organisation – such as the National Landlords Association or Residential Landlords Association

- And agents will commit to being a member of a redress scheme 

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