Selective Licensing – Our experiences so far

Selective Licensing is currently active in North Manchester for 315 properties, this scheme has been in place since March 2017, and has required private landlords to pay Manchester City Council £750 per property to continue letting their properties – under threat of prosecution under Section 95 of the 2004 Housing Act

As one of North Manchester’s leading letting agents, we actively manage properties within this area and have had first hand experience of the process for Selective Licensing.

We are an ARLA registered agency, we are members of the RLA, NFOPP, the NLA and the Property Ombudsman Service. These are not just fancy letters, they all mean things for the way we operate and the standards to which we keep our properties, these associations in themselves regulate our activity, we hold nationally recognised qualifications in Property Lettings and Management and we closely follow latest legislation and regulations.

We do a good job.

Why then, when we pay all of our regulating bodies an annual fee to audit and monitor our activity are we paying Manchester City Council an additional £750/property to confirm what has already been proven beyond doubt by the highest authority in the Housing Market?


What Needed to Change?

Of the 315 properties targeted in Crumpsall, we manage or own around 40 of them so are well aware of the localised and wider issues affecting Crumpsall.

One of our regulatory bodies, the RLA, says this about selective licensing:

“An area may be designated for selective licensing either (i) if the area is (or is likely to be) an area of low housing demand or (ii) the area is experiencing a significant and persistent problem caused by anti social behaviour and some or all of the private sector landlords are failing to take action to combat the problem that it will be appropriate for them to take.”

From our experience, Housing Demand in Crumpsall is no lower than other areas in North Manchester, the entire city has high demand for housing, with a booming population and an ever expanding City Centre, affordable and accessible housing is at a high premium. Anti-social behaviour is somewhat out of our remit, we ensure the tenants renting our properties are of good standing, they keep their homes well and they can afford and do pay their rent on time, but anything above neighbour disputes of noise or rubbish, antisocial behaviour is wholly outside our sphere of influence as managing agents or as landlords. The third clause about Private Sector Landlords “failing to take action to combat the problem that it will be appropriate for them to take”, is a little vague, but as ARLA registered agents, we have rules and requirements in place for ensuring we are fit and proper persons to be managing the properties.

Was the problem the landlords, was the problem the demand for property or was the problem Anti-Social Behaviour?


Whats the Point?

Every property that we manage in Crumpsall has passed its Licensing Check to date, we had some disputes; at one inspection, that we didn’t attend with the council, they reported we were not eligible for a license for that property because there were no smoke alarms in the property. Immediately we called the tenant, popped round, and as they opened the door, we saw the downstairs smoke alarm in the hallway and within a minute we had checked and verified both smoke alarms in the property were correctly installed and working. When we queried the council, they admitted they had got the property “mixed up with another one”.

At £750 per property and potentially a landlords livelyhood at stake, is this really the kind of mix up that we want to be seeing by Manchester City Council?

Since 2015, If we let a house to someone without smoke alarms, we would be liable for recourse from: ARLA, NLA, RLA, NFOPP, Property Ombudsman and a £5000 civil penalty from the Government. We would be fined, our memberships stripped and we would not be able to operate as an agent.

Whilst its very positive that Manchester City Council are concerned and actively ensuring the safety of its residents, Licensing only applies to the private rented residential sector. Housing Associations/Local Authority housing is exempt, Owner Occupiers are exempt, Student Halls are exempt, live in landlords are exempt and care homes are exempt. So actually, the only properties that are liable are those which are privately rented.


Fit & Proper Persons

Selective Licensing essentially is a 5 year certificate to say that you can rent out one particular property. You are checked to be a “Fit and Proper Person”- essentially this is like a Landlords DBS Check, they look for:

  • any criminal convictions to do with violence, drugs, sexual offences or fraud
  • whether we have broken any laws to do with housing or being a landlord
  • whether we have been found guilty of unlawful discrimination
  • whether we have previously managed House(s) in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and broken any approved code of practice.

and they do this for every single property. Just like the ill thought out DBS checks, its a repetition of work and a waste of resources- checking this 40 times in as many days, will not produce any different results, but will keep someone busy and generate £30k of income for the council.

Why are Manchester City Council choosing to line their own pockets at the expense of landlords, agents and ultimately private rented tenants?


Do we agree with Selective Licensing?

Yes and no.

We recognise, accept and embrace the need to raise housing standards across the city. We absolutely agree that the rogue landlords and those providing housing that is not fit for habitation need to be cracked down on and dragged to standard.

But, we do not agree that reputable landlords, agents and those working well within the law should be further penalised to make up for the failings of others. Especially when Selective Licensing has been a scheme run in the past and was proven beyond reasonable doubt that it was at best ineffective and a major contributing factor to increasing rental rates in an area.


How Could it Improve?

The same scheme has, this week, been rolled out in areas of Rusholme and Moss Side, although Crumpsall was a “pilot”, it seems no changes have been made to the way the system runs and no lessons learned from implementing the initial wave of Licenses.

As the regulations and controls for rogue landlords are already in place by governing bodies, why hasn’t Manchester City Council considered teaming up with reputable and regulated agents, offered an affordable and mutually cooperative package for Licensing to ensure standards are raised and upheld by agents, and Landlords who self manage then have the option to be Licensed and monitored by the council OR use an already licensed agent who then takes liability for maintaining standards.

With over 60% of Manchester Private Rented sector Landlords already using an agent, this would give the landlords choice, the local agents an opportunity to lead the raising of standards, save the council resources AND ultimately prevent the entire burden of the cost of licensing ultimately landing on the tenants lap.

Right now, the way this scheme works, will do nothing to help tenants with affordability.





Investing in Rental Properties

Brentwood Lettings work out of North Manchester and East Manchester, we know this side of the city like the back of our hands and have our fingers on the pulse when it comes to buying investment property.

drawing-of-three-houses-where-it-reads-buy-renovate-resellThere are many ways in which a person can make a living when it comes to property investing, some of them carry more risks than others.  It goes without saying that those that carry the greatest risks are often the very real estate investment methods with the highest potential profit but slow and steady, in many cases, wins the race. Flipping houses is in the news a lot because so many fortunes have been made doing this-more than a few have been lost in this venture as well but those don’t make the news nearly as often.

Working with rental properties isn’t nearly as glamorous and doesn’t provide the almost instant profits that flipping houses might but it is also a great and very valid method of property investing that will build a steady profit over time if you plan properly.

Rental properties, in Manchester are in demand now more than ever with so many people going into foreclosure and losing the homes they’ve worked hard to build for their families. For this reason rental properties are a good thing to own at the moment, especially those that are family homes.

There are many reasons that people rent and while there are some risks involved when renting properties, the risks are much lower than the risks involved in flipping or pre-construction investment endeavors. I always make sure that all of my rental properties have a decent kitchen and up to date appliances so when getting them ready one of my first stops is to a Floform showroom. There are a few things you should consider when purchasing a property for the sake of renting however in order to make a wise and long lasting decision for your real estate investment.

location for rental property in manchesterOnly invest in rental properties in areas that people want to live in.

It may be true that you can buy property cheap in a few very run down sections of town but it is doubtful that you will turn those properties into profitable rental units. It is best to pay a little more for a more attractive address for renters. You will find that your properties are inhabited more often, which will make you more money in the long run.

Unsure? this is where we step in, we can tell you in an instant if an Area, a Street or a House is a good buy for renting or is likely to cause you problems. How? We live and breathe property lettings in Manchester, we know each and every street as if it were our own.


Pay attention to the types of people in the area and buy rentals accordingly.

types of tenant

It is quite possible to turn large homes into multiple smaller apartment units (according to local zoning laws) that are ideal for students. You do not want to do this however in an area that is geared towards family homes and won’t be friendly or tolerant of college students. Design the rentals according to the market you are attempting to attract.

Unsure? Again thats where Brentwood Lettings can help you, we have helped literally thousands of tenants, from all walks of life find a home in Manchester. We can tell you, the investor, more about your property, its chances of securing good quality tenants, the type of tenants you’d be attracting and how to best present your property for rental.



 Don’t be greedy.

The goal of owning rental properties is of course, to make money. At the same time if your price your properties too high you will find that they sit empty more often than not. Every month that your property is empty is a month that you aren’t making money on that property at best and a month that you are losing money at worst.

Know the market.

Study the local market for buying real estate and renting real estate. This will help with many things, not the least of which is determining whether or not any given property will make an attractive rental unit. Another thing it will help you determine is how much rent the units you are considering can bring in month after month.


When renting properties you need to keep your eye on the long-term goals rather than shortsighted goals.

Property rental is a marathon rather than a sprint with the greatest profits coming at the end. You will want to pay as little interest on the property as possible and pay the property off as quickly as possible in order to realize the maximum profit potential and acquire new properties. The real money when renting properties as a real estate investment isn’t in renting out one or two units but twenty or thirty. The more rental properties you own the more money you stand to make from owning them.

£13.8bn – The Value of The North Manchester Property Market

“How Much Would it Cost To Buy All The Houses and Flats in North Manchester?”

This fascinating question was posed by the 11-year-old son of one of my landlords when they both popped into my offices. At the time I didn’t have an answer for him, instead throwing my hands in the air I smiled and vaguely answered “hundreds of millions”. I hadn’t ever thought about the total value of the market, so I thought to myself that it would be interesting to sit down and calculate what the total value of all the properties in North Manchester are worth.

Now this isn’t something that you can just google lightly and ping receive an answer, you can readily find information on house prices and trends, you can find population data on a city wide basis and lots of vague demographics dotted around, but nothing readily prepackaged to tell you 1) how many houses are in an area and 2) what the values of those houses are. It took me considerably more work than I first anticipated and became a bit of a mission for me to solve this problem.

I started with the city council, then went to the office for national statistics, then pulled census data and land registry files. I quickly found myself with reams upon reams of data which all gave lots of clues, but no definitive answer.

When I delved into the numbers, the first thing I found was that the average price currently being paid for a North Manchester property stands at £99,229.  Which seemed a little low, so I split the property market down into individual property types in North Manchester; the average numbers come out like this.


Curious as to how the figure settled at £99,229 I then looked at the distribution of the types of homes in North Manchester, and found this:


Working out of Moston, and area heavily packed with street upon street of terraced houses, I wasn’t too surprised to see terraced houses dominating the statistics for North Manchester. However, what was initially surprising was the figure for the number of flats.

I initially wrote this figure off as being inflated by bedsits, converted homes, flats above shops and some of the larger mixed use commercial buildings. However, I chose to dig a little deeper into the distribution of the types of flats in North Manchester and this is what I found:


Although, from working in the North Manchester property market for the best part of my life, I did appreciate there were a fair number of flats, I hadn’t until now got my head around the fact that there were just shy of 28,000 flat in the area, of which over 24,500 were within custom built blocks or tenements.


A cool £2.1bn could bag you ALL of the flats in North Manchester. Sitting at the lowest price point the local flats are offering astounding returns on investment as rental properties and are in very high demand with the young professional market.

If you happen to be a multi billionaire, check down the back of your sofa, in that pair of jeans that you don’t wear but are hanging onto incase they fit again or in an old coat pocket- if you happen to find a spare £2.1bn give us a call and we’ll talk about investments.

If you’re not a multi billionaire, and like me you’re just a regular person trying to save for the future and provide security for your family this information may seem pie in the sky, but I promise there is a point to it all.

What does this all mean for North Manchester Investors?  

Well as we enter the unchartered waters of 2017 and beyond, even though property values are already declining in certain parts of the London property market, the outlook in North Manchester remains relatively good as over the last five years, the local property market was a lot more sensible than central London’s.

North Manchester house values will remain resilient for several reasons.  Firstly, demand for rental property remains strong with continued immigration and population growth.  Secondly, with 0.25 per cent interest rates, borrowing has never been so cheap and finally the simple lack of new house building in North Manchester not keeping up with current demand, let alone eating into years and years of under investment – means only one thing – yes it might be a bit of a bumpy ride over the next 12 to 24 months but, in the medium term, property ownership and property investment in North Manchester has always, and will always, ride out the storm.


Buy-to-let Mortgages: Bad and Good News

Telegraph Money has been highlighting the plight of buy-to-let investors who have mortgages from lenders that are no longer in business. Many of these mortgages are at uncompetitive rates and the borrowers are at risk of being stuck with them for life, thanks to much stricter lending rules being brought in by the Bank of England.

Elsewhere on this site we’ve discussed the impact of these rules, but this is a new light on a possibly unintended – and certainly undesirable – effect of the stringent new lending regime which the Bank has imposed.

To be fair, the Bank has clearly said that the new regulations should not be imposed on borrowers with existing mortgages who only want to switch to a new deal and don’t want to increase the size of their loan.

Unfortunately, lenders are already making it clear that they don’t want to take on borrowers who can’t meet the new lending criteria, even if they are only looking for a remortgage of their existing borrowing.

This could mean that thousands of borrowers can’t get off the high rates that they are on, when getting off these rates could mitigate the effect of the higher taxes that there are also having to bear on their buy-to-let income.

Telegraph Money spoke to Nationwide, who are the second-biggest buy-to-let lender. Nationwide told them that it isn’t accepting remortgage business from other lenders unless the loan meets the new, more stringent regulations put in place by the Bank of England. It has increased its threshold for the amount that landlords need to have in income. They are now going to need to be getting 145% of their mortgage costs in rent. For years, this percentage was 125%.

Lloyds is the biggest buy-to-let lender and as yet it is remaining tight-lipped over whether borrowers who are seeking a remortgage out of a higher interest rate from another lender, will be allowed to apply under the previous criteria. Apparently, Lloyds is monitoring the market and keeping its policy under review so that it can ensure that borrowers have enough protection.

Luckily, the buy-to-let mortgage market is a diverse one as some of the landlords involved in M9 lettings can testify. Some of the smaller lenders appear to be having a rethink about their lending policies. Barclays and Yorkshire building society are both reviewing their attitude towards people who are remortgaging – until recently they would have allowed these mortgages through on the previous terms.

Simon Checkley, from Private Finance, a firm of mortgage brokers, is reported as saying that the Bank of England has actually allowed lenders to accept customers who want to remortgage from other firms. He’s hoping that lenders will take up this opportunity.

The buy-to-let borrowers who are in the worst position are those with loans from mortgage companies that are no longer in the mortgage market. These companies include Cheltenham and Gloucester and Mortgage Express. These customers cannot get a new deal with their existing lender and if larger lenders are put off lending to them by the Bank of England restrictions, these borrowers are stuck with the loans they’ve got. The real problems are tending to occur when borrowers who took out a mortgage on a fixed-rate deal get to the end of the fixed-rate term and are transferred by the lender to a standard variable rate. Many of them will find that they are paying well in excess of 5%. This is much higher than the rates on offer for borrowers who can meet the new, stricter criteria for lending.

In effect, these people are therefore mortgage prisoners. So is there any good news at all on the buy to let mortgage front? Well yes there is, actually.

One of the specialist lenders, Together, has cut its rates on buy-to-let mortgages so they are now below 7% on loan-to-value ratios of up to 65%. They’ve also announced a new fixed-rate five-year buy-to-let mortgage and upped the maximum amount they will lend to £500,000.

They pride themselves on not using the “computer says no” approach to landlords that is so common among other lenders. They say that a big part of their success in marketing buy-to-let mortgages has been that they acknowledge that no two borrowers are the same.

So when it comes to mortgages in the buy to let market, there’s good news and bad news – but when was that ever not true?

Renting in One of Manchester’s Best Up-and-Coming Suburbs

Located just three miles away from the cosmopolitan city centre of Manchester, the area of Blackley offers a number of attractions for renters and the Blackley rental market is buoyant. It offers excellent public transport services, as well as strong road links to Manchester itself, neighbouring towns and villages, and the rest of the north west. Blackley has long been popular with renters of all ages, despite its sometimes slightly dubious reputation. Thanks to several new developments, including a variety of contemporary apartment buildings, Blackley will continue to appeal to renters and landlords alike well into the future.

Who Rents in Blackley?

Blackley is a diverse community with young families, couples, older families and retirees all living side by side. It has traditionally appealed to those who want to be close to the attractions of Manchester city centre, but who are either priced out of the centre itself or don’t want to live in the heart of the city. Blackley is popular with those who work or study in the city, and offers a number of different housing options to renters, including traditional red brick terraces, modern semi detached houses, contemporary apartments or smaller studio properties. As the area boasts such excellent public transport links, it is not necessary for those who live in the district to own a car, opening up the possibility of a far wider variety of potential renters.

Excellent Public Transport and Road Links

Blackley is serviced by a number of popular and busy bus routes, which offer frequent and quick journeys into the city centre. The area also enjoys strong links with other towns and villages on the Manchester outskirts, making it perfect for commuters who work all over the north of the city or in the city centre itself. Blackley is also served by the region’s popular Metrolink tram system, providing a convenient alternative to bus routes. Popular destinations such as Altrincham and Bury are easily reached via the excellent Metrolink network, as well as, of course, Manchester city centre.

The formidable M60 is within easy reach of Blackley, and actually acts as a border to the area. Located to the north of Blackley’s residential areas, the M60 provides quick and easy access to the rest of the north west region. Manchester city centre is also only a short drive from Blackley, although many regular commuters prefer to rely on bus or tram services to avoid getting stuck in busy traffic at peak travel times.

Blackley for Families

Blackley offers many attractions to families looking to rent in the area. It’s extremely conveniently situated for access to Manchester city centre, but also offers a number of amenities that will appeal to those with children of all ages. Blackley has several attractive parks, perfect for children to let off steam. The green spaces at Tweedale Common, Irk Valley and Nutbank Common are all within easy reach, as well as the locally famous Boggart Hole Clough. Offering a number of popular and enjoyable walks, Boggart Hole Clough has recently undergone an extensive programme of improvements to increase its appeal to local families and residents. The green and pleasant park has a variety of sports facilities, including tennis and basketball courts, as well as popular football pitches. The park hosts events throughout the year, some of which attract a large number of people from the surrounding areas. As well as firework displays each Guy Fawkes Night, the park also hosts summer family fun days designed to appeal to kids of all ages.

Blackley Amenities

Blackley has its own golf club and cricket club, both of which are well established and are great social hubs. The area is also well served by shops, including local independent retailers as well as famous high street chains. You’ll also find an impressive indoor market, and a modern and popular library.

Blackley Property

Traditional red brick terraces in various states of repair can be snapped up for as little as £60,000, but such bargains are becoming increasingly difficult to find. At the other end of the house market, it’s not unusual to see prices of around £300,000 and above for brand new semi and detached homes. These properties are attracting a new type of renter and homeowner to Blackley, and look set to enhance the reputation and appeal of the area over time. Luxury and modern apartments in the area can be found for less than £100,000, and the big appeal of these for landlords is that they will not generally need any work before they can be rented out, and they also tend to be fairly easy to market.

Manchester – Best Property Yields in the UK

If you’re investing in property in Manchester – well done! Whether through business acumen, research or just sheer luck you are enjoying the highest rental yields in the UK.

Data from the buy-to-let lending company LendInvest, shows that the yield on buy-to-let in Manchester, at 6.1%, is the highest in the country. The yield is the annual rent a landlord can get from a property, as a percentage of the market value of the property. Of course, this doesn’t tell the whole story because capital appreciation, a rise in the price of the property, is also part of your total return as a landlord. The extraordinary rise in house prices in London has meant that although rental yields have fallen in London, because the total return on investment includes capital appreciation, London outstrips everywhere else in the country.

Realistically, many market analysts believe that this can’t go on forever, so London house prices may be riding for a fall. There has certainly been comment post-Brexit, that a lot of money had been flooding into the UK on the back of the historically strong pound and that this had led to a bubble in the price of assets such as property, particularly in London because it is favoured by overseas investors. Or as some might call them, speculators.

There is a suggestion that the fall in the value of the pound may lead to some of these investors pulling their money out, with a consequent cooling of the London market.

Meanwhile, Manchester’s economy has been growing strongly, providing a more solid basis for both property prices and the rental market, than the bubble that undoubtedly exists in London. The surge in economic activity in Manchester has been led by a large growth in private sector activity, especially in professional services and finance.

Manchester has become a key destination for large companies wanting to relocate their headquarters and it has managed to combine this with a thriving creative and digital economy. With four universities and a vibrant cultural scene, the city’s future seems assured.

With more devolution to Manchester planned, and Government investment in infrastructure taking place, the contrast with the beleaguered commuting towns of the South of England, where poor railway provision is hampering labour mobility, could not be stronger.

The 2015 population estimates provided by the council show that there are just over half a million people in Manchester; more men than women, but only just. The population bulges around the 25 – 44 age group but another 30% of the population are aged between 16 and 24. In other words almost a third of Manchester’s population are about to move into the stage of life where they are forming households, entering long-term relationships and starting families.

Many of them will be looking for precisely the type of family-friendly small houses that are a feature of North Manchester lettings, and in particular of the Moston community. They’ll be looking for rental security while they possibly have one or more children. They’re not so likely to be looking for the type of corporate development that we can see in many places in Manchester.

So although rental demand is undoubtedly going to continue to grow, not everyone is looking for a young professional’s flat in the centre of the city. And let’s not forget that many people find that personal circumstances, such as old age or problematic health, lead them to the type of community-friendly housing available in areas such as Moston, Harpurhey and Blackley.

Diversity in rental properties is the key to an area like Manchester. It would be a shame if most property was aimed at single professionals. However, while areas including Moston, Harpurhey and Blackley continue to thrive, and independent landlords are prepared to invest in providing homes, we will continue to provide for our diverse communities.

What does the Budget Mean For Us?

What does the Budget Mean For Us?

Earlier this week we met as a team and were notably hawkish about what may come to light this week in the the budget. The chancellor told us what we all already knew, the future is indeed uncertain. In this, the so-called “budget for the next generation” we have a number of key takeaways and thoughts.

Keeping politics and personal opinions out of the blog, we have included below just the facts as we see them, and the major factors that will cause an impact to the people we work with on a day to day basis. We are happy to discuss any of the key points here and how they will affect you. Either call us on 0161 681 3724, or leave a note in the comments section at the end of the blog and we’ll respond and open up the debate.


Landlords and second homeowners

Stamp Duty

A 3% Stamp Duty surcharge on second homes and Buy to Let properties from 01 April 2016 will be introduced and larger investors will not be exempt as previously thought from the stamp duty charges, meaning all purchasers of Buy to Let properties will pay the additional tax. This was expected not to be of concern to people owning 15 or more houses however this isn’t the case it applies to everyone.


21st March – Mortgage Credit Directive

From 21st March consumer buy-to-let mortgages (on rented properties that are not being used as part of a business) will be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Second charge mortgages (also known as secured loans) will also come under regulation. This could mean that financing deals become a little harder



Capital Gains Tax (CGT) will be cut from 28% to 20% for higher rate taxpayers and from 18% to 10% for basic rate taxpayers. Residential property sales and carried interest will be exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) being introduced on 06 April 2016.

There will be an 8% surcharge to landlords selling a buy to let property meaning this benefit is not being passed onto landlords. We consider the reason behind this that because of recent tax changes in stamp duty and also the clause 24 meaning less tax relief on mortgages of BTL property’s (unless held in a ltd Company) many landlords are already considering selling if they were to benefit from the CGT reduction this would encourage more meaning an increased amount of property to the market that may create a crash in prices.



We consider all the recent changes in tax and legislation on current landlords will increase the rents. There will be more landlords moving out of the market along with no large increase in building will increase demand. As LHA rates are frozen for the next 4 years this will mean either attracting working tenants or expecting LHA tenants to top up their rents.



We all have our own views on the current effectiveness of the Northern Powerhouse, or lack thereof, but the budget statement did have some promising news for our region, my key takeaways were:


A major issue for Manchester – and one the government has been under pressure to address.In response the Chancellor strayed out of his usual territory to set up a £115m fund to help tackle rough sleeping. Most of that will be used to provide ‘low cost’ accommodation for people leaving hostels before they get into regular housing, creating 2,000 new beds.

It is also delaying a planned cap to local housing allowance by a year – and getting immigration officials to work more closely with local authorities to send back EU migrants who end up sleeping rough, a significant problem in Manchester.

The city has seen rough sleeping rise tenfold since 2010 and there is no sign of that rise slowing.

It is so far unclear how that money will be allocated – whether it will be done according to population size or the current rough sleeping figures.

Nevertheless the big structural problems that underpin our rising homelessness still remain: cuts to benefits and a chronic housing shortage but this is only expected to get worse by the unfair taxing of landlords

Buisness Rates

Greater Manchester has been handed control of all its business rates in replacement of its main central government grant.

Along with Liverpool and London, the area will move towards a model where it is far more reliant on the taxes it raises from local firms going forward.

At first sight the figures for 2016 would suggest Greater Manchester as a whole will be £80m better off as a result.

However there are all sorts of unknowns – including what happens if a huge economic downturn hits the region, such as when the steel industry collapsed in the north east.

There are currently revaluations taking place across the country, due to come in in 2017, that will be used to reset the amount paid by businesses in rates – so that could dramatically alter the amount of income available to councils.

Within Greater Manchester there is the issue of how the money will be redistributed, given that as it stands areas such as Rochdale and Oldham would lose out significantly compared to those such as Manchester and Trafford, which would gain enormously.

But perhaps the biggest danger is also contained within the Budget: thousands of small businesses – 90,000 across the north west – being taken out of business rates altogether.

That looks dangerously close to making a very generous tax cut – and making town halls pay the price.


High Speed III train between Manchester and Leeds has been given the green light. This will only help as increased infrastructure and improved transport can only help house pricesProbably the most significant part is £161m for the Highways Agency to speed up improvements to the M62 on both sides of Manchester , but money was also committed towards bringing town train journeys between the two cities to half an hour.

He also found £4m towards the eventual transformation of Manchester Piccadilly – and other northern stations – ahead of HS2’s arrival in more than a decade’s time.


Greater Manchester is to become the first English region to get new powers over the criminal justice system.

Chancellor George Osborne used the Budget to announce further devolution of powers to the area.

The change means decisions on offender management, education in prisons and work with youth offenders will be made locally.

The region’s Labour mayor, Tony Lloyd, said “we will have to read the fine print” to make sure there is “no loss”.

The Chancellor also announced the region will get a new prison and will keep 100% of business rates, beginning next year. Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which comprises the region’s 10 councils, said it will have more control of funding to support both offenders and victims of crime.

It is proposing devolving other budgets, including for female offenders, young offenders and those sentenced to fewer than two years in prison, which would mark a major change to the current system.

Announcing the change, Mr Osborne said: “This is the kind of progressive social policy that this government is proud to pioneer”


£ 600 per Month

Moston Lane, Moston, M40

£ 700 per Month

Ashley Lane, Moston, M9

£ 650 per Month

Romney Street, Moston, M40

£ 575 per Month

Cicero Street, Moston, M9

£ 650 per Month

Stovell Road, Moston, M40

£ 450 per Month

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