Fight to improve housing standards hits the small screen

Wychavon's housing team has been featured on the small screen as part of a series highlighting the work done to protect people from living in unfit homes.

Britain's Housing Scandal began airing on BBC One at the end of February. It shows presenter Matt Allwright working with teams from different councils to highlight the appalling conditions some people live in. Nationally, 20 per cent of private rented homes are unfit for purpose.

Wychavon is featured in episodes four and six of the current series. In episode four viewers will see Bruce Lomax, Wychavon's Principal Private Sector Housing Officer, visit a nine bedroom property in Evesham, which is divided into different units for rent.

The programme shows Bruce uncovering a couple living in a cramped room, with the electricity supply posing a fire safety risk. He also finds exposed wires, a broken self closer on the fire safety door, incorrectly installed electrical sockets and a faulty fire alarm system. The condition of the bathroom was also found to be well below the required standard.

In the programme the landlord was issued with a notice giving them 24 hours to fix urgent issues.

Since filming, Wychavon has carried on working with the landlord to ensure the property is up to the required legal standard. Work carried out includes installation of a complete fire alarm system, work to rectify issues with electrical sockets, replacement of floor coverings, work to upgrade windows and internal doors and cleaning of common areas.

In episode six viewers will see Mr Lomax visit a caravan site which houses workers in the growing industry.

Both episodes are available to view on the BBC iplayer by searching for Britain's Housing Scandal.

Cllr Christopher Day, Executive Board Member responsible for Housing, on Wychavon District Council, said: "The majority of landlords are responsible and look after their properties and tenants, but we do find cases like those featured in the programme.

"Our Private Sector Housing team are there to make sure those landlords who neglect their duties are held to account and either bring their properties up to scratch or face fines and prosecution.

"This is something Wychavon does all year round, not just when the TV cameras are on. I hope these programmes give people a better understanding of the valuable role our private sector housing team plays."

Anyone renting a home who has a repair issue should contact their landlord or housing repairs team first. If the response received is unsatisfactory then the Private Sector Housing team can help. Visit www.wychavon.gov.uk/housing-standards for more information.

Pictured: Bruce Lomax, Principal Private Sector Housing Officer, finds a smoke alarm in a cupboard during his inspection, which is featured on Britain’s Housing Scandal.
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