A landlord has been banned from renting after a family with a six-year-old child in Braunstone Town, Blaby, were found living in “sub-standard” conditions in a garage with no heating.
Council officials who inspected the property near Leicester found there to be no heating, inadequate insulation, a single working plug socket and no smoke alarm. The windows and doors were also found to be rotten.
The tenants told council inspectors they were paying as much as £400 a month in rent.
After seven months of living in the garage – consisting of a small kitchen, bathroom and a sitting room which doubled up as a bedroom – the Portuguese family of three have now been relocated in time for Christmas.
The landlord, who has not been named, has been banned from renting out the converted garage. Blaby district council’s environmental services inspectors said the family were living in “sub-standard conditions”.
Speaking to the Leicester Mercury Phil Fasham, Blaby’s senior environmental officer, said: "It would not have been very nice for them to live in at all. It was small, dark and cold.
"There was only one room you could really sit down in and you could only get a tiny bit of natural light in there by leaving a door open. They didn't even have access to the whole garage.”
He added it was likely other tenants had lived in the property.
“There are a lot of laws covering rented properties and it can be hard for landlords to keep up to date with changes such as the new requirement for having smoke alarms fitted on every floor,” said Councillor Guy Jackson who is responsible for neighbourhood and environmental services.
He added: “It is hard to believe, however, that any landlord thinks that it is acceptable to let a family live in the conditions found in this property. I hope the strong action taken by Blaby District Council will deter other landlords from letting tenants live in poor conditions.”
The Environmental Health services have served a prohibition order on the detached garage, which means the landlord will be prosecuted if anyone lives there before extensive works bring it up to council-approved standards.