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Landlord banned from renting out garage

A landlord has been banned from renting out a converted garage after environmental health officers found a family living in sub-standard conditions.

The detached double garage in Braunstone Town, Leicestershire had undergone a partial conversion, equipping the area with a small kitchen, bathroom and a bed-sitting room. However, officers inspecting the property found there to be no heating, inadequate insulation and no smoke alarms, whilst the windows and doors were found to be rotten.

On a later visit officers found a fault with the electrics, with the shower having stopped working as a result, and only one working plug socket.

The family, which included a young child, were paying £800 a month to live in the garage. They have been moved to a new home in time for Christmas. They had been renting the property for over seven months before reporting the conditions they were living in to Blaby District Council.

One of the gravest concerns to officers was the main garage door, which had not been removed by the landlord. With the garage door in place tenants had nowhere to sit with natural light and a fire in the property could have left them trapped with no window to escape through.

Environmental health officers served a prohibition order on the property; the order ensures that the landlord will be prosecuted if anyone lives in the property before extensive works are completed to convert to standards approved by the council.

Councillor Guy Jackson, portfolio holder for neighbourhood & environmental services at Blaby District Council, said: “There are a lot of laws covering rented properties and it can be hard for landlords to keep up to date with changes such as the new requirement for having smoke alarms fitted on every floor.

“It is hard to believe, however, that any landlord thinks that it is acceptable to let a family live in the conditions found in this property. I hope the strong action taken by Blaby District Council will deter other landlords from letting tenants live in poor conditions.”

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