Graham Jukes attends important Conservative Conference landlords’ fringe event

Graham Jukes OBE CFCIEH, Chief Executive of the CIEH, represented the environmental health profession last week at a high-profile private sector landlord-led discussion event in Manchester during the Conservative Party Conference.  

Graham JukesThefringe event took place on Tuesday 6 October and was organised by the The Residential Landlords Association (RLA), which is a leading voice in the property industry representing more than 20,000 private sector landlords in England and Wales with a combined portfolio of more than a quarter of a million properties.

At the breakfast event, the RLA brought together a small group of politicians, leading experts and professionals representing the RLA, local authorities, the CIEH, citizen’s advice and vulnerable groups  to discuss its proposals for self-regulation in the sector, following the work done in partnership with Leeds City Council on accreditation of student housing.

Discussions focussed specifically on the current plans for deregulation and how landlords can better adhere to their newly proposed code of practice.

Housing is a key interest for the CIEH as it is Environmental Health Practitioners who are on the front-line inspecting properties and Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to ensure accommodation in the private rented sector are free from hazards and do not adversely affect people’s health and wellbeing.

Graham Jukes said that the fringe event was extremely valuable and the RLA was very keen to drive out the perception that all landlords are ‘pariahs’.

“The RLA have done some great work and you only need to look at their project in Leeds around addressing student lettings to see how committed they are to ensuring good standards of housing are maintained and the cost to local authorities reduced,” said Graham Jukes.

“Not all landlords are bad or provide poor housing but the priority for the RLA must be to produce a consistent code so all landlords adhere to the same set of standards, covering those with big property portfolios all the way down to those who are amateur or start-up landlords.”

Graham Jukes added “We are a long way away from consistency in the management of private sector housing and agreement between all landlord representative bodies about the standards to apply, therefore we could not support a self-regulatory approach being applied at this stage.

“There is around £1 trillion worth of investment tied up in the private rented sector, we don’t need more regulation but all indicators suggest that this growth is set to continue. To ensure that housing conditions are up to a high standard that doesn’t adversely impact on health and wellbeing, the whole industry needs to communicate better with each other, including Environmental Health Practitioners. That is what this event was aiming to do and as a result this important dialogue and engagement will continue.”

In addition to inviting Graham Jukes, on the day the RLA also welcomed:

  • Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP
  • Kevin Hollinrake MP
  • Professor Martin Partington, The Dispute Service
  • Andrew Bulmer – Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
  • Paul Beardmore, Director of Housing, Manchester City Council
  • Councillor David d’Orton Gibson, Bournemouth Council/Accreditation Network UK
  • Barry McLeod Cullinane, Local Government Officer, Citizens Advice Bureaux
  • Margaret Collier, North West Landlords Association
  • Mave McGoldrick, Crisis
  • David Smith, Policy Director, RLA
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