Luton raid finds 10 people living in one rented house

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Housing officers, accompanied by representatives from the Home Office, Fire Service and Police entered a house in Dunstable Close, Luton, early this morning, 24 March.

The raid was part of Luton Borough Council’s ongoing Rogue Landlord project (a partnership between Luton Council, Citizens Advice Luton, Luton Law Centre, Home Office, Fire Service and Police) which aims to drive up standards in the private rented sector.

Ten people were discovered living at the property, sharing one bathroom and kitchen. One of those present was arrested on suspicion of drug related offences.

A thorough investigation of the property found a number of dangerous issues. Council officers are now considering a prosecution under the Housing Act related to operating an unlicensed house in multiple occupation and other management offences.

Cllr Tom Shaw, Portfolio Holder for housing said, “This action underlines the Council’s ongoing commitment to ensure private tenants in our town have safe, high-quality accommodation. In situations like this, unscrupulous landlords are not only taking financial advantage of vulnerable tenants, but placing their lives in danger. Every landlord housing different families that share the same facilities under one roof must register for an HMO licence. We will not hesitate to prosecute landlords who show a disregard for the law and their responsibilities towards occupants.

“We encourage anyone who suspects a property that may be an unlicensed HMO to contact us immediately.”

It is easy to check on a specific property. There is a full list of registered HMOs on the Council’s website www.luton.gov.uk/hmo Residents can email HMO.Hotline@luton.gov.uk or call 01582 547222 in complete confidence.