Andy Burnham launches £300k scheme to stop ‘unlawful’ illegal evictions in Manchester

"The days of bad landlords renting out unsafe and unfit homes are coming to an end."

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 20th May 2024

Andy Burnham has launched a £300,000 pilot scheme aimed at tackling “unlawful” illegal evictions in Manchester.

It’s just one part of Greater Manchester‘s first step towards protecting tenants in all types of rented accommodation, and empowering those who feel “trapped in substandard housing“.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) says it plans to “rewire the rental system” in our region, so that it “works for people, not against them”, and to support this, the Mayor announced last week that a £600,000 package of measures has now been set out to help tenants clamp down on rogue landlords.

After Mr Burnham declared back in January that 2024 would be the year Greater Manchester “gets serious about housing”, the ‘Good Landlord Charter’ is set to be rolled out later this year.

The Good Landlord Charter is the first of its kind in the UK, will cover social and private rented sector housing, and will work with landlords who are willing to improve the standard of the properties they rent out.


It’s aiming to set out “clear, practical, and accessible” standards to drive up the quality of renting in Greater Manchester. 

According to GMCA, recent data has shown that,’ throughout Greater Manchester, around 23% (56,000) of private rented homes, and just under 17% (82,000) of all rented homes, do not meet the legal Decent Homes Standard’.


But since many tenants feel unable to raise complaints for fear of eviction, it’s thought the true number of substandard rentals may be as high as 40%.

This is why the Mayor has announced two more new pilot projects that will come into effect over the next 12 months.

To support the Good Landlord Charter, £300,000 will be invested in the Renters (Reform) Bill and introduce a new duty on local authorities that’ll help them tackle unlawful evictions and harassment of tenants by setting up a new team of housing law experts who’ll “provide advocacy and support” to renters, and “strengthen enforcement capacity”.  


When the Renters (Reform) Bill is made law, it’ll become illegal for landlords to rent out homes that don’t meet the ‘Decent Homes Standard’, and because of this, £150,000 is also being made available to support a new pilot with Oldham Council that’ll explore how GMCA, the central Government, and local Councils can work together to claim back housing benefit from landlords who are letting out substandard homes.

“Everyone across our city-region deserves a good, safe, and secure home,” declared Mayor Andy Burnham as he launched the pilot schemes last week.

“It should be the starting point for a good life. It should not damage your health or be a source of concern and anxiety, but sadly, too many people in Greater Manchester still find themselves in those situations, and are trapped in poorly maintained properties and in fear of unlawful eviction.

“But the days of bad landlords renting out unsafe and unfit homes are coming to an end.

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“This new right to a property check for all residents, backed up with new measures to protect renters and take action against rogue landlords, will empower people across Greater Manchester and put us on course to become the UK’s only Housing First city-region.”

Featured Image – Super Straho (via Unsplash)