Borough Insight

Landlord issued prohibition order

In January, the we were contacted with concerns about a room rented out in a ‘house of multiple occupation’ (HMO) in Lower Court Road, Epsom. An HMO is a home rented out to at least three tenants who form more than one household and share a bathroom, kitchen and other facilities.

We undertook a formal inspection and identified a bedroom that was unsafe in several aspects.Stairs

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.

A number of other deficiencies were noted within the property during the inspection which was undertaken by our building control and environmental health teams alongside specialists from Surrey Fire and Rescue.

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.

Councillor Barry Nash, Chairman of Community and Wellbeing Committee, said “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”.

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