Faults found in 59 homes in multiple occupation investigated by Fenland Council since April - 57 of the homes are in Wisbech

Crackdown on HMOs - 57 of 59 complaints investigated in Wisbech

Crackdown on HMOs - 57 of 59 complaints investigated in Wisbech - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hazardous electrics, faulty gas appliances and lack of smoke alarms are among the major problems with nearly 60 homes in multiple occupation (HMOs) investigated by Fenland Council since April.

Nearly all of the homes are in Wisbech, says a report to Fenland Council prepared by officers on behalf of the communities portfolio holder Councillor Mike Cornwell.

His report shows that between April and the end of September the council inspected 59 HMOs and “all required actions to remedy identified health and safety related faults and failings”.

These included lack of smoke alarms, unsafe electric and gas safety checks.

Figures released by the council show that 57 of the properties were in Wisbech, two in March and none in Chatteris or Whittlesey.

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A council spokesman said: “The fact that faults were found in all those that have been inspected is not surprising – it is the nature of the work.

“The inspections we carry out are not random – they are in direct response to complaints about housing conditions. Inevitably those tend to be about those properties that are poorly maintained and managed.”

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He said: “Almost all the complaints come from individuals living in those houses. “Some inspections are conducted as a result of information gathered through Operation Pheasant.”

The total combined number of HMOs and privately rented, single household homes in Wisbech is estimated to be about 2.400.

“It is impossible to give an exact figure or to specify how many are HMOs because the situation is so fluid and literally changes from day to day,” said the spokesman.

The portfolio holder’s report added: “The council has also investigated 61complaints from tenants occupying privately rented accommodation in the same period.

“Council officers intervene to remove category 1 hazards (serious faults) and category 2 hazards (less serious faults) from properties to make them safe for the residents”

* Tell us your experience of living in an HMO? Is it safe and properly run? Is it inexpensive? Do you get value for money? Email john.elworthy@archant.co.uk

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