The Mayor of Salford has defended the council’s new approach to providing shared houses in the city, saying it will help to increase housing standards.
Salford City Council announced last week that it would be introducing landlord licensing for shared homes where three or four tenants live, known as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) from Monday 19 July.
Salford Mayor Paul Dennett told Salford Now: “For me, the decision that the cabinet made recently is a really positive decision to hopefully improve management standards within HMOs, improve property standards and tackle potential overcrowding in HMOs in the city.”
But some residents did not welcome the news and shared their concerns about more litter on Salford streets and a lack of accessibility to affordable housing.
HMO's in Salford are ruining streets, family houses were never designed for this, especially when it comes to waste. Also with little or no background checks and quick tenant turnover they have problems. Look at yesterday in Eccles on Liverpool road
— Martin (@squeakykid) April 13, 2021
A Salford resident responds to the news from the Salford Mayor’s Twitter account.
In response to this, Mr Dennett said: “When we’ve looked at some of our data of reports for fly-tipping and littering there seems to be a bit of a correlation between HMOs and the issues that are coming through our call centre. All of that points to the need to do something.”
He went on to highlight the importance of tackling the housing and homelessness crisis not just in Salford, but up and down the country.
“What we need to get back to is genuinely empowering councils up and down the country to start building truly affordable housing for the people of this country and that’s how we tackle the crisis, otherwise people are pushed into HMOs.
“Salford is going to be tackling rogue landlords in the city. We are going to continue on our great work and this is just another step in the right direction in my opinion, to tackling HMOs where landlords aren’t delivering good services, aren’t maintaining property and homes are being overcrowded.”
Over the last year, 90 percent of three and four-bed HMOs inspected fell below the required standard. This is despite the council providing clear information about acceptable standards and offering an HMO advice service.
Inspections found missing or damaged fire doors and inadequate fire escape routes while some properties did not have fire alarm systems.
A third of properties were damp or suffering from mould due to leaky roofs or walls and a third had inadequate heating.
Strategic director for place, Peter Openshaw said: “Private sector rented properties now account for 23% of Salford’s private housing stock, up from 11.2% in 2008 so the homes they provide must be safe, warm and well-run.
“As with previous licensing schemes we want to work with landlords to ensure high quality rented properties in Salford but will not hesitate to take firm action against those who leave tenants in unsafe or poor conditions.”
Salford City Council was the first local authority to introduce landlord licensing in Seedley and Langworthy in 2007 to drive up standards in private rented property.