Peterborough Council takes over 'squalid' house

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A house described as "squalid" has been taken over by Peterborough City Council following complaints from neighbours.

The council said the multi-occupancy house in Cromwell Road was so insecure that squatters and drug addicts walked in off the street.

Council officers found hazards including insecure gas pipes, a broken boiler, live electricity cables, blocked pipes and no fire alarms.

The councils plans to spend about £25,000 on repairs.

It will then recover the money, initially from rents but then from the owner and, if necessary, from the sale of the property.

'First of many'

The council said the tenants did not know the identity of their landlord and had no means of reporting faults.

Landlords are required to licence properties as houses of multiple occupation if they have more than three occupants representing two or more households.

Those who fail to do so face fines of up to £20,000.

Senior enforcement officer Joanne Hodges, of Peterborough City Council, said: "This is the first interim management order made by the council and I expect it to be the first of many as we have already identified several more properties that the landlords have failed to licence voluntarily."

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