14:17 PM, 2nd September 2019, About 3 years ago 19
Oxford Council with the aid of a £274,942 government grant has been using a plane with thermal imaging to catch illegal beds in sheds run by criminals without planning permission. The extra heat signatures given off by people renting sheds as homes is a tell tale give away from the air in the same way police use the technology to catch cannabis farms run from homes and other buildings.
In total so far Oxford City Council have shut down 21 sheds used illegally as rental accommodation and served 31 enforcement notices in the last year and a half. The Council are also calling upon the public to report any suspected sheds or garages used for this purpose and are planning on inspecting a further 400 outbuilding by the end of December.
Linda Smith, cabinet member for housing said: “If you think there are beds in sheds in your neighbourhood, please contact our private sector safety team and we’ll take action.
“Oxford has the highest proportion of private rented homes in the country and every private tenant should have a decent roof over their head. We work proactively to drive up standards in private rented housing and we won’t tolerate rogue landlords exploiting tenants by providing substandard and dangerous housing whether this is a bed in a shed, a house in multiple occupation or a family home.
“Conditions in some of these beds in sheds are appalling and we won’t accept this.”
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