CIEH welcomes Renters (Reform) Bill and urges Government to deliver on decent homes

17 May 2023, Mark Hope

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has welcomed publication of the Renters (Reform) Bill and urged the Government to deliver on decent homes.

CIEH has welcomed, in principle, the proposals for a ban on no-fault evictions and for a new Property Portal but will be seeking more information on how these proposals will be delivered in practice.

The proposal in last year’s private rented sector white paper to extend the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector has not been included in the Bill so far. The Government has said, however, that it will bring forward legislation to implement the proposal as part of the Bill.

This proposal is a key component of the Government’s levelling-up mission to halve the number of non-decent rented homes by 2030.

CIEH will be seeking to understand the reasons for the delay over the proposal and urging the Government to deliver on decent homes.

Louise Hosking, Executive Director of Environmental Health at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said:

“This Bill relates to issues that CIEH has been concerned about for a long time, such as banning no-fault evictions and the introduction of a Property Portal.

We have long campaigned for a national register of all landlords, alongside better resourcing for local authority housing enforcement teams. Environmental health professionals have a crucial role to play in tackling poor housing conditions and thereby reducing ill health and saving lives.

We will be scrutinising the proposals carefully and are pleased to have been one of a group of organisations who were recently invited to a roundtable with Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, to discuss the reforms.

We are concerned, however, to find out why the white paper proposal to extend the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector has not yet been included in the Bill.

The proposal for a Property Portal is a step in the right direction in terms of oversight and regulation of the sector. We will need to scrutinise the Government’s plans for the portal carefully, however, as it remains unclear whether the portal will provide local authorities with the information they need in order to check the suitability of landlords before issuing a property licence.

Crucially, the Property Portal will not remove the need for the Government to make it easier for councils to use selective licensing schemes to improve housing conditions.”

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