CIEH submits views to government prior to launch of Housing Bill

The Government is gearing up to announce details of the Housing Bill and in preparation has been seeking views on the important issues in the private rented sector and how best to tackle rogue landlords.  

Poor Housing 

Following the release of the Department of Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) ‘Technical Discussion Paper’, the CIEH has since submitted its opinions to feed into the upcoming Bill, which is expected to be announced in October.

It is anticipated that the main focus of the Bill will be on the Government’s proposals to extend the Right to Buy to Housing Association tenants but there will also be important issues for the private rented sector, such as minimum fines for repeat/serial offending landlords and setting up of a national ’blacklist’ of landlords with criminal convictions.

Establishing a database of rogue landlords is a very topical issue and Environmental Health News, supported by the CIEH, recently published a  list of prosecuted landlords following lengthy proceedings with the Ministry of Justice and the Information Commissioner.

Within the response to the DCLG, Bob Mayho, the CIEH’s Principal Policy Officer for Housing and author of the submission, considers all the questions asked by the government in the technical discussion paper and provides succinct answers which clarifies the CIEH’s position on housing.

The CIEH position maintains that tackling problems of poor housing to protect the health, safety and welfare of the occupants is a key environmental health priority. 

Bob Mayho said: “The private rented sector is rapidly expanding and forms an important component of the housing market. While the majority of dwellings meet appropriate standards, unfortunately there are some landlords who continue to provide poor quality housing which poses a threat to the health and safety of their occupants. 

“Urgent and wholesale action needs to be taken to better protect renters in the private sector from unscrupulous landlords, especially those vulnerable people whose choices are limited when it comes to securing a roof over their heads, and we look forward to seeing the full proposals from the Government in due course.”

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