Family lived in a rented garage with no heating

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A family has been found living in a converted garage with no heating.

The detached double garage had undergone a partial conversion, equipping the area with a small kitchen, bathroom and a bed-sitting room, according to Blaby District Council in Leicestershire.

However, officers inspecting the property found there to be no heating, inadequate insulation and no smoke alarms, while the windows and doors were rotten.

On a later visit they found a fault with the electrics, with the shower having stopped working as a result, and only one working plug socket.

The family, which included a young child, who were renting the converted garage in Braunstone Town, have been moved to a new home in time for Christmas, the council said.

They had been renting the property for more than seven months before reporting the conditions they were living in to the authority.

One of the gravest concerns to officers was the main garage door, which had not been removed by the landlord.

With the door in place, tenants had nowhere to sit with natural light and a fire in the property could have left them trapped with no window to escape through.

Environmental health served a prohibition order on the property, which ensures that the landlord will be prosecuted if anyone lives in it before extensive works are completed to convert to standards approved by the council.

Councillor Guy Jackson, portfolio holder for neighbourhood and environmental services, said: "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.

"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 tenants, a Portuguese family of three with a six-year-old child, told inspectors they were paying as much as £400 a month in rent, according to the BBC.