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High Court ruling backs Thurrock Council in preventing unsafe shared home

Thurrock Council

Thurrock Council has been successfully granted with an interim injunction by the High Court to prevent residents living in an unsafe shared home.

Two residents, who had continued to live in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) despite a number of Category One and Category Two hazards being identified, have been ordered to vacate the property within 14 days.

The house had initially been sub-let as a HMO to at least eight people.

It was later discovered that the back of the premises had also been occupied and posed dangerous Category One hazards.

A prohibition order was originally served on Thursday, 10 December last year after the council identified the hazards.

These included a risk of fire and inadequate means of escape.

The order meant the property was prohibited as a residential dwelling resulting in a number of sub-tenants being vacated and rehoused by the council.

Two occupants who remained at the HMO against the terms of the order have been ordered by the High Court judge to vacate the property within 14 days.

Thurrock council is to assist in finding them alternative accommodation.

The High Court ruling, granted on Friday, 7 May, is believed to be a UK first injunction of its kind, where the injunction has been used to prevent occupation of a property for not complying with a prohibition order.

Leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill said: “This is a significant achievement for Thurrock Council.

“We will continue to lead by example and find alternative solutions where failure to comply with the original order would have usually lead to prosecution proceedings against the residents who would remain in unsafe conditions.

“The residents living in the building were being treated unfairly and were enticed by cheap rent in exchange for not only poor but dangerous living conditions.

“The council’s swift action meant we were able to ensure they moved out of a dangerous property.

“This High Court decision could lead the way for other authorities who may find themselves in the same situation to use our judgment as case law.”

Anyone with concerns about a HMO, can either head to the Thurrock Council website or contact the council’s Private Housing Team for help resolving an issue about a HMO.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM



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