Regulating the Privately Rented Sector: what can universities offer to support local authority workforce development?




Housing, Regulation, Environmental Health, Local Authority Enforcement


The private rented sector (PRS) has grown in both quantity and complexity in recent years but the local authority workforce has not been able keep up with its regulation. There are insufficient numbers of Environmental Health Practitioners and other staff delivering interventions and new training opportunities are needed to address the backlog and deliver effective front line services. This paper reviews the current situation and overview the complexity of competencies and skills required and how this might be achieved going forward.

Author Biographies

Jill Stewart, University of Greenwich

Currently Associate Professor and Academic Portfolio Lead in Public Health at the University of Greenwich, Jill Stewart spent a decade working in housing in local government before taking her first academic post in 1999. Since then, she has researched, taught and promoted housing and health. Jill’s work has been widely recognised and features across a range of publications, including books, chapters, papers, blogposts and podcasts and at numerous conferences.For years, Jill has been actively involved in research grants and enterprise activities in housing and health and has led on practitioner training. As a result, she is often asked to contribute to policy and practice aspects of housing and health and has input into a range of national level policy and practice reviews, documents and publications, most recently around the private rented housing sector. She has been interviewed across a range of media, TV and press, in subjects including housing and ageing, the private rented sector and the environmental health workforce. She is a founding member of the Environmental Health Research Network UK Environmental Health Research Network.Jill’s work has been recognised across a range of professional bodies and she is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of both the Royal Society for Public Health and the Royal Geographical Society, and most recently an Associate of the Faculty of Public Health. She is co-chair of the London Public Health Housing Network, a member of the CIEH Housing Advisory Panel and a member of Environmental Health Academics Forum.

Charlotte Jeavons

Dr Charlotte Jeavons has a background in public health and has worked in practice and academia for more than 25 years. She has been employed at the University since 2011 and now holds the position of Head of School of Human Sciences. Charlotte is an international reviewer of public health curriculum and accreditation and an assessor with the UKPHR. Charlotte holds Senior Fellow status with the Higher Education Academy. Her most recent pedagogical research has been a pilot study into experiences of BAME students. This was presented at an international conference in 2021. She is now working on the second phase of this piece of work. More recently she has become interested in how technology can be used to simulate practice experience for students.


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