Holbeach

Landlord claimed huge HMO conversion was for “large family”

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A landlord who tried to convince a council that his conversion of two homes into one was for a “large family” has since reversed the change after the authority declared it a House in Multiple Occupation.

A report before South Holland District Council members next week will outline how the address, on Chapel Street, in Holbeach, did not have permission for the conversion and was found upon inspection to have between eight and 15 residents living in it “but the owner stated that it was now one dwelling occupied by a large family”.

The council also found a number of safety concerns including unsafe staircases, unsafe electrics and a severe lack of adequate fire protection in the building.

The landlord was served with an emergency prohibition order in November and the report before councillors on Wednesday says: “The owner has since reinstated the property into two dwellings, completed all works required to revoke the prohibition order on one of the properties and is currently undertaking works on the other to ensure they comply.”

Councillors will also hear about two further case studies from the enforcement teams including noise complaint which saw two individuals taken to court, and an SHDC tenant who got abusive when officers confronted him about a “large construction” built without permission which saw a number of electrical health and safety risks.

During the report on Wednesday, Councillors will be updated with enforcement actions the council has carried out since a new policy was adopted in May 2018.

The new policy has seen 348 informal warnings made under environmental protection and 133 under food, health and safety – with three statutory notices also handed out.

Three prosecutions have been made for offences regarding environmental services, with seven financial penalties issued and 55 informal notices made.

Two new community wardens hired last June have also deal with 2,836 incidents, doling out 211 verbal warnings and 69 fixed penalty notices – mostly, says the report, for littering.