CIEH comments on Housing and Planning Bill

Publication Date: 13th October 2015

Subject: Housing

Following the launch of the Government’s Housing and Planning Bill, Bob Mayho, Principal Policy for the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), said:  

“The vast majority of landlords provide good quality accommodation but sadly there are those who do not. We therefore welcome the Government’s proposals in the Bill to tackle rogue landlords and improve conditions in the private rented sector, including extending the circumstances in which rent repayment orders can be used, banning orders and a national database of landlord prosecutions, something we have called for over a number of years. 

“Poor housing conditions can have damaging consequences for tenants’ physical health and mental wellbeing and the new landlord database will include details of all landlords with criminal convictions, as well as prosecutions for housing offences, not just repeat offenders, which suitably reflects the serious nature of supplying appalling accommodation.

“That said, we remain unconvinced about the introduction of fixed penalty notices for housing offences as this risks trivialising serious offences and could be misused by authorities seeking to raise additional income. There already is a robust procedure to prosecute rogue landlords and we would support setting a significant fine for repeat offenders as well as giving the courts the power to ban repeat offenders from managing or letting properties for a defined period.”

Bob Mayho added: “There are a number of concerns we have on the Government’s right to buy proposals as they unfairly impact on the vulnerable and people most in need of good quality housing, as well as have an adverse effect on certain areas of the country, further exacerbating regional and national inequalities.

“There is the real danger that if this scheme goes ahead it could restrict in the long term the availability of affordable homes, adversely impact local authorities’ ability to house families in desperate need of accommodation and may cause councils to sell off their “best” homes in order to fund the sale of right to buy properties. Furthermore, the rented sector is still feeling the impact of the initial wave of right to buy in the 1980s, being a causal factor in the uncontained growth of private rentals and the prevalence of poor conditions within this sector.”

ENDS 

Notes to editors  

For media enquiries please contact Steven Fifer on: 020 7827 5922 or email s.fifer@cieh.org. 

About the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH):   

The CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing over 10,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved. 

Environmental health has an important and unique contribution to make to improving public health and reducing health inequalities. The CIEH campaigns to ensure that government policy addresses the needs of communities and business in achieving and maintaining improvements to health and health protection.  

The CIEH is a leading provider of regulated qualifications and operates in over 50 countries. 

For more information visit www.cieh.org and follow the CIEH on Twitter @The_CIEH. 

 

print Print | email Email