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Brothels raided "to hold landlords to account" over properties

A series of raids on privately let properties in the westcountry appear to have taken place as a way of holding landlords - and by implication their agents, if appropriate - are held to account for the activities that go on inside the homes.

On November 2 police raided a series of properties in Yeovil, Somerset.

The Western Gazette newspaper has now carried a report with what many may regard as surprising quotes from the police.

After describing the raids - involving five riot vehicles sent by Bristol police, and staff from the police, fire and rescue service, the council’s environmental health department and the Department for Work and Pensions - the newspaper then quotes from a spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

She says: "Landlords need to take a degree of responsibility for insuring that there premises are safe. They've got to make sure that their premises are up to a certain standard.

"This means that all appropriate taxes are being paid by tenants. It also means ensuring their premises are being used for the reasons they're being rented out for. If it's a domestic property it shouldn't be used for a business. Landlords need to make sure whatever is happening is legal.

"We're taking an approach to say that landlords need to take a degree of responsibility for what is happening. This multi-agency response came after events last month. We used those events to gather intelligence, to check other properties and to check they are being used legally."

The story then quotes from an Inspector Tim Coombes, who says: "The public will know what's happening in their own communities. We don't want anyone to live with the consequences and effects of anti-social behaviour. If they believe there are happenings in their street and comings and goings at strange times in the night or they believe that an illegal brothel might be running, then we want to hear from them.”

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    What a complete joke! How can landlords and agents be held responsible for what the tenants do in the privacy of their own homes? The council and the government make it difficult enough to gain access to the property if the tenants refuse and if you want to evict an anti-social tenant they advise tenants to sit tight until the bailiffs arrive.

    "This means that all appropriate taxes are being paid by tenants." This beggars belief! Are we to check that they are collecting the right benefits as well? Are we to check that they are not spending too much on sugary drinks?

    The world has gone mad!

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