A row of terraced houses

A House in Multiple Occupation in Coventry, that came under the spotlight from Police and Council services after reports of overcrowding, is being investigated for failing to meet housing standards.

The Council’s Property Licensing team received intelligence from the Police that a Coventry address in Longford was overcrowded and that there were other concerns.

The Property Licensing team suspected that the property was being used as an unlicensed HMO and therefore obtained a warrant to enter the property.

An early morning inspection was carried out by Environmental Health Officers from the Property Licensing team and the Police’s exploitation team.

The property was found to be an unlicensed HMO with various management regulation breaches and as a result the Property Licensing team are in the process of taking enforcement action in relation to these breaches under the Housing Act 2004.

There were also some concerns about modern slavery issues, but these were not identified. The Police did detain a gentleman on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant. The investigation continues.

This is the second operation of this type, and the Council will continue to work closely with the Police on such matters. 

Councillor David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said:

“This is another excellent example of joint working that has led to action against landlords.

“We are committed to improving standards of private sector housing accommodation across the city. Sharing information, in this example by highlighting potential concerns around overcrowding and checking on issues like modern slavery, highlights the importance of joint working between the Council and the Police.

“When accommodation is not being responsibly managed and regulations are breached, we will use the range of legal powers to take action to help ensure that tenants are protected.”

Do you have a concern about a HMO? You can use our online reporting form to report it, or email HMO@coventry.gov.uk and we’ll follow it up.

Commenting on the way information is shared and the way modern slavery is approached in the city, Chief Inspector Dave Amos, said:

“Modern slavery involves the exploitation of some of society's most vulnerable people and we are committed to safeguarding them wherever and whenever we receive information.

“Our SOCEX teams regularly work on intelligence and take action against people and premises suspected of being involved in modern slavery.

“We rely on the public for information to help our investigations, so if you are concerned about modern slavery happening where you live, contact us via 101 or Live Chat, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

To report any modern slavery concerns please contact the Police on 101.

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Published: Thursday, 30th May 2024