A council in a leafy area of south east England has issued an emergency prohibition order to a buy to let investor to prevent the use of a dangerous bedroom.
Last month Epsom and Ewell council was contacted with concerns about a room rented out in an HMO fun Epsom.
A formal inspection, conducted by council and Fire and Rescue service officers, identified a bedroom that was unsafe in several aspects.
The room was an unauthorised conversion within the loft space, accessed via an unlit narrow corridor and an almost vertical wooden stairway. The room’s only window was accessible by leaning over the stairwell. The window opening was not restricted and was three storeys directly above a concrete path.
On the same day of the inspection, an Emergency Prohibition Order was served under the Housing Act 2004 preventing the use of the bedroom as sleeping accommodation.
“We also served an improvement notice in relation to fire safety, requiring the owners to improve fire safety provisions within the whole property. A hazard awareness notice was also served on the same landlord regarding damp and mould” says the council in a statement.
A spokesperson for the authority adds: “As a result of our intervention, current and future tenants of this property will be living in safer accommodation which meets required standards. We will not hesitate to take any necessary action to protect borough residents against landlords supplying hazardous accommodation and who put profit ahead of the welfare of their tenants”.