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Case study - Vulnerable workers forced to live in hazardous property

Ashfield District Council has been working with partners including Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and The Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) following reports of vulnerable residents living in an unsafe property in Underwood.

Officers from Ashfield District Council and the Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) attended the property and found it to be in an extremely poor condition with damaged doors, limited fire detection and poor fire-escape routes. There were concerns over the safety of the gas boiler and suspected by-pass on the electrical.

An Emergency Prohibition Order (EPO) was served under section 43 of the Housing Act 2004, resulting in all tenants having to permanently leave the property until it was made safe by the landlords.   

After landlords carried out necessary works, the property has been re-inspected and the Emergency Prohibition Order revoked. The property has been made safe for all occupants and visitors, and compliant to the current housing law.

Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) served the owner of the business with two written notices, one relating to offences under the National Minimum Work Act 1998 and second offence under the Immigration Act of 2016.

Further reports have been made to the Health and Safety Executive, Nottinghamshire Police and Home Office in order to investigate other associated issues and offences.

If you are concerned about a property you live in or have visited contact the Council’s Environmental Health Residential team on 01623 457345.

If you have concerns of someone being vulnerable and exploiting workers contact GLAA on 0800 432 0804.