Authorities crack down on unsuitable HMOs in Boston

Published by Sarah Ashcroft

A number of properties in Boston have been the subject of an investigation by several local authorities, after it was found that they were being used as homes of multiple occupation (HMOs) without consent.

In total, nine dwellings in the Lincolnshire town have had their status confirmed so that they can only house a single family each. This will prevent landlords cramming more people into a property than should really live there.

The Boston Target told how a Latvian landlord is understood to own all nine of the properties in question, with the first eight already being subject to prohibition orders. The ninth is currently the subject of a planning application and potentially a plan to have improvement works carried out.

Peter Baxter, senior housing officer at Boston Borough Council, said it was clear the homes were being used to provide accommodation for far too many people. Signs such as the number of beds and a high amount of fridges and freezers suggested more people were in residence than should be the case.

"None of these properties had been adapted for multiple occupancy – there were no fire doors, no protected means of escape from fire, no means of fire alarm and detection, no horizontal or vertical fire separation, no fire extinguishers or fire blankets," he added.

Boston Borough Council teamed up with Lincolnshire Police, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and the Gangmaster's Licensing Authority to investigate the problem and hand out the prohibition notices. This will ensure only one family can live in each home in the future.

Such a case could serve as a useful reminder to landlords around the country that they should never try to be greedy by allowing more people to rent a home than it is capable of housing. Playing by the rules is a better long-term strategy for property owners.

It should also help landlords to enhance their reputation in a particular town or city, making them an appealing prospect for tenants who are looking for somewhere new to live.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801574919-ADNFCR

Published on: April 22, 2013

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