City of York Council has vowed to crack down on rogue landlords looking to exploit the housing market, as part of a campaign to improve living standards in the private renting sector, which includes tackling unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
Council officers have visited more than 100 HMOs and discovered a wide range of problems, including people living in homes without proper windows, with missing ceilings and lacking fire safety measures.
At a student house in the city centre the council discovered a bedroom that had no outside window, but an internal window into the kitchen, which meant the occupier had no privacy, natural light or fresh air.
Elsewhere, a house in Fishergate was discovered with 35 people living in it.
Ruth Abbott, the council's housing manager, said they were “disappointed” with the standards they found in some properties.
She commented: “We hadn’t anticipated finding quite as much as we have done out there and we haven’t inspected a big chunk of the properties yet.
“We are looking at the worst properties to start with.
“Fire safety and room size are priorities.
“We have been slightly disappointed with the standards we have found.
“We would encourage anybody to report anything to the council.”