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GM Renters Manifesto

Demanding A New Normal

For the last 6 months, renters across Greater Manchester have been coming together to discuss what the most pressing issues are for us today in the lead up to the Mayoral elections.  

We recognise that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated already existing problems within a broken housing system, such as unaffordable rents made worse through furlough, disrepair made more acute through stay at home restrictions and landlords risking their tenants health by arriving in our homes unannounced during a global health crisis.  

We identified four different areas within which to create our demands: Rent, Disrepair, Landlordism and Knowing Our Rights, but also recognise that a huge part of fixing the private rented sector lies with commitments to building and properly managing more council housing.

We hope that the manifesto will be used to pressure local council candidates to fight harder for private renters, and recognise that fighting on a case by case basis does nothing to solve such a rotten system in which we’re forced to exist. We need real change.  

1: Prioritise housing need; Build the 30,000+ social rent homes, end conversions to so called ‘affordable housing,’ demolitions of homes & right to buy, which are constantly reducing the number of homes available for social rent.

2. An end to policies which allow discrimination based on migrant status, disability, receipt of benefits, or low income such as ‘No DSS’ and adopt policies to address inequality, support and protect disadvantaged and marginalised groups.

3. The implementation of rent controls that both bring rents in line with 30% of median household income in the city and prevents future rises that are out of step with levels of income growth.

4. Issue a forgiveness of rent arrears that have accumulated during the pandemic with landlords who may struggle to meet the costs of such measures being encouraged to seek means-tested support.

5. A cap of 5 properties for tenancy landlords, and an increase of income tax for landlords who own 3 properties or more. This is vital in deterring landlords from buying up multiple properties in Greater Manchester, and letting them in dangerous and unsafe ways.

6. We need an independent “Rented Property MOT” with a body of inspectors to ensure agreed healthy living standards and legislation in place to swiftly enforce landlords to adhere to them.

7. The GMCA work with democratic tenants unions across GM to distribute up to date, tenant-led versions of the How To Rent booklet mandatory with every private tenancy.

To view our full manifesto, follow the link here.

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Campaigns

ACTION ON SHORT-TERM LETS

According to figures obtained from Inside Airbnb, there has been a 200% growth in the number of properties listed on Airbnb between 2016 and 2020. We know that the rise of short-term holiday lets in what were previously residential areas is having a negative effect on these neighbourhoods. Many of our members have experienced disruption, noise and waste from the rise of Airbnb. Furthermore, as has been demonstrated in research by Greater Manchester Housing Action, the growth of Airbnb is having an inflationary effect on the value of land and the cost of rent in our city.
We call on the council to act. Other councils such as Liverpool have put in place measures to address the impact short term lets are having on neighbourhoods. And where powers do not currently exist, councils must lobby national government for London-style powers to restrict Airbnb.
Working with our partners at Greater Manchester Housing Action we are pulling together a citizens taskforce on Airbnb to track the prevalence of short-term lets in the city, and pressure the council to act. If you want more information get in touch here.

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Branches

Stockport Branch

ABOUT US

Stockport Tenants Union is a campaigning, member-led union set up to level the playing field between renters and landlords in Stockport. It was set up in October 2020 and is a branch of the Greater Manchester Tenants Union. We are currently building our membership and strengthening our collective power in order to further our member’s interests, stand up for renters and address the housing crisis in Stockport.

Chair: Louise Heywood

Secretary: Malcolm Corrigall

GMTU Committee Rep: Dave Heywood

Comms and Campaigns Officer: Joe Barratt

Treasurer: Andrea Corrigan

CONTACT US

Email: stockport@tenantsunion.org.uk

Telephone: 07762446509

Twitter: @sktenantsunion

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Branches

Moss Side Branch

Who we are

The Moss Side branch was set up three years ago with only a handful of neighbours in response to common concerns about poor housing conditions and the lack of affordable family homes.  It has since grown to be the largest local branch of GMTU. 

Membership is open to renters and any other residents of Moss Side concerned about housing injustice and a belief in the collective power of achieving change.

We have supported national campaigns to end DSS discrimination by landlords and estate agents and to end no-fault evictions.  We exposed the scandal of the social housing sell-off into the private rented sector in Moss Side; this prevented more sell-offs with the result that more social housing was retained in the pool for potential future tenants.

Ongoing concerns

We are concerned about the rise of short-term lets (such as airbnbs) with their negative effects on neighbours and the loss of family homes, as well as the impact of buy-to-let landlords making it harder for local residents to find affordable, permanent homes.  We frequently liaise with other community groups who share these concerns;  an example of this was a joint meeting with eight of these groups and council leaders to discuss these issues and to look for solutions.

Current focus

We have constructed a questionnaire for Moss Side social housing tenants to identify any ongoing  tenant/provider relationship problems and hope to work with the social landlords towards solutions. This will be adjusted to include private sector renters in the future. 

Roles of responsibility

Presently we have a chair, secretary, and researcher, plus specific-issue group facilitators and TUGM delegates; we aim to create more roles (such as treasurer, communications/press officer etc) at our first AGM, scheduled for July 2021.

Contact us on:

Emailmossside.tenantsunion@gmail.com

Twitter: @mosssidetenants