National spotlight on danger of houses of multiple occupation.(News)

Migrants are too often living in cramped and crowded conditions which do not comply with fire safety legislation or the Housing Act 2004 according to fire officers in Bedfordshire and Luton, and Lancashire.

Area Fire Safety Manager Tim Birchall, along with Borough Council Environmental Health Officer Debbie Bromley, have pounding the streets knocking on doors and inspecting living accommodation above shops. "This the only way to root out the problem," said Tim. "In very extreme cases we issue a Prohibition Notice, which we have done in the past 12 months in two cases in Bedford and one in Biggleswade.

"In others it can take longer as we have to identify the legal landlord through property searches then determine the correct standards for not only fire safety but the general living conditions such as sanitation and cooking facilities. …

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