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07 June 2016
A raid in Luton, Bedforshire by police and the local council found that people in five houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) and outbuildings were found to be living in dangerous conditions. None of the premises had adequate fire protection.
Some of the properties on Biscot Road were unlicensed HMOs and were of unlicensed construction.
Luton Borough Council's Rogue Landlord Project works with Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue service to ensure that housing in the borough is of a good standard. As well as ensuring HMOs are well managed, the team follows-up issues such as ‘beds in sheds’ - sub-standard premises being used as living accommodation without the relevant permissions.
Councillor Tom Shaw, the portfolio holder for housing said, “The Rogue Landlord Project is an integral part of ensuring that private housing in Luton is of a good standard. If an HMO is poorly managed, tenant’s safety could be at risk.
"We’re committed to ensuring that rogue landlords are identified and are made to improve the property or face prosecution.”
John Foolkes, head of community safety and area commander for Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, added, “The fire and rescue service’s job is not only to put fires out but to prevent them and their tragic consequences. Working with Luton Borough Council in the Rogue Landlord Scheme helps ensure people who rent a property in Luton are properly protected.”
Robin Porter, the council’s corporate director, commented, "This case underlines the ongoing commitment to ensuring private tenants in our town have safe, high quality accommodation.
“Unscrupulous landlords are not only taking financial advantage of vulnerable tenants, but placing their lives in danger."