Friday, August 18, 2006

New Law Means Tough Action

Thanet Council has become one of the first authorities in the country to take tough action under a new law.

Council officers were called in to inspect 70 Sweyn Road, Cliftonville, after complaints from members of the public and neighbouring properties about anti-social behaviour of the tenants and damage to the property. Officers found the property had no hot running water, no secure doors to the premises, no banisters on the stairs, all the fire doors were smashed, the fire alarm panel broken and was generally poorly managed.

Because of the number of immediate health and safety risks in the property, officers used new powers under the Housing Act 2004, which came into force earlier this year, to impose an Emergency Prohibition Order. This effectively shuts down the property and prevents anyone from living there. The residents were temporarily re-housed by the Council’s Housing Needs Team and will not be allowed to return to the property, until remedial works are carried out. If it is to be used as a House in Multiple Occupation in the future, then it will require a mandatory licence under the Housing Act.

Cllr. Ingrid Spencer, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community, said: “This sends out a clear message to rogue landlords. We are not prepared to tolerate such appalling conditions in any property in our area and we are not afraid to take action to stamp out this problem. Landlords need to understand that they have responsibilities to their tenants and under the Housing Act, they have to provide good quality accommodation that doesn’t put their tenants in danger. We are working hard to regenerate Thanet and we will not let rogue landlords drag the area down. It’s time they realised they have two options – improve the standards of their properties or face action like this.”

The owner of the property is now looking at either improving the property, converting it into flats or selling the premises.


Maverick said...

Good start. Now lets see the rest of the badly administered HMO's shut down. I believe there is one in Dane Hill which has been causing no end of grief for the rest of the road. Well done TDC and Cllr Spencer.

Anonymous said...

Is this the property that Mr Mohammed had 2 caravans in the back garden (Thanet Life 19th May)?

Whilst its good to see TDC taking action, why is it that they take on the little man but assiduously avoid enforcement with Thanet's big boys?

Godden's Gap not restored after fire; wheel not closed down(eventually moved for financial reasons to another site); the unsightly security fences still in position in Dreamland; Two Chimneys not screened by planting of its bund.

I know this action is under different legislation but it would be nice to see TDC impartially enforce regulations across its whole remit.

Anonymous said...

Anon 828 - I think you will find Mr Mohammed in Norfolk Rd, not Sweyn Rd.
His garden more or less backs on to mine, I must say that although I am not keen on his probably illegal enterprise the caravan inhabitants are pretty inoffensive as far as I can tell, once I heard some loud music during a hot day when they had the door open but thats all.

Anon 10.55 As far as Dane Hill is concerned I don't know which property you are referring to, (please tell us the number) there is one house at 45 Dane Hill which is a pain in the butt as they are always repairing motor scooters and revving them up, even late in the evening.
The inhabitants also shout and swear a lot in the street ( I didn't know you could use so many f words in one sentence till I heard them do it) and leave rubbish about, police make the odd arrest there but they don't seem to worry about that much.
The house at the top next to the newly opened kebab shop are bad for leaving sacks of rubbish out which spreads down the street, their front garden (if you can call it that) is also a real mess with domestic refuse and broken glass etc there longterm.
I expect I will clear it up for them like I did 18 Harold Road's front garden recently.
Dane Hill is a problem area, needs cleaning up .
Ask Sandy time? Or is he still on his yacht in the Caribbean?