Tackling poor accommodation

A previous house where the landlord was prosecuted

A previous house where the landlord was prosecuted

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Luton Borough Council is teaming up with the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, Citizens Advice Bureau and Luton Law Centre to improve the standard of the town’s housing.

The project will try to tackle problems of poor accommodation in the private rented sector and the empty properties which waste resources, attract crime, arson, vandalism and squatting.

They will look at Houses in Multiple Operation (HMOs), a building occupied by unrelated people or households who share facilities such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities.

All properties require a licence to ensure the council has power to stop landlords renting out unsuitable or unsafe properties.

A housing officer will identify properties being rented out which are damp, cold, dirty, too small or don’t have the correct number of bathrooms or toilets.

The council’s housing team can then ensure that these properties are brought up to suitable standard and licensed. Legal action will be taken against landlords that do not comply.

Councillor Tom Shaw said: “We take the condition of the private rented sector very seriously and we are confident that this project will help us drive up housing standards.”