Oxford using plane with thermal imaging to catch beds in sheds

by Property 118

14:17 PM, 2nd September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Oxford using plane with thermal imaging to catch beds in sheds

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Oxford using plane with thermal imaging to catch beds in sheds

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.”



Comments

Yvonne Francis

10:51 AM, 4th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Oxford is one of the most draconian councils in the UK. Nothing they do would surprise me. Dare I suggest they seek treatment for their paranoia!

James Barnes

14:21 PM, 4th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Yvonne Francis at 04/09/2019 - 10:51
"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."
Oxford City Council probably knew there was a problem and subsequently confirmed, and started to deal with it. I don't see how that is paranoia.

Yvonne Francis

15:34 PM, 4th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by James Barnes at 04/09/2019 - 14:21
Have you ever asked the question James: where do the people go who are turned out of these sheds? From all I know they go to other sheds or on the streets. If the council could give them alternative and better accommodation then I would find all this applaudable. If they should as suggested on this site, go to cheaper areas, then that is their choice, or are any of you suggesting forced resettlement. Some others on this site say these people do not have a choice. As much as part of me sympathises with this opinion, we all have a choice governed by what we can afford or are willing to pay.

If it is a matter of affecting other people by having people living in these conditions, for either the general nuisance or health issues, then those affected should speak up, and this then becomes a matter for the planning departments, which I do see as a genuine concern.

Yes, like many of you on this site I find this all very much not to my taste or my practises, but society in general should offer better alternatives before they condemn.

Michael Barnes

17:31 PM, 4th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Adam Withford at 03/09/2019 - 13:56
People who have no choice (or feel they have no choice):

* victims of human trafficking
* victims of modern slavery
* those whose English is poor and do not know English housing law

and probably others.

Michael Barnes

17:40 PM, 4th September 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 02/09/2019 - 14:34
21 shut down is the headline.

There are likely others in the pipeline; and it says they plan to inspect another 400 this year, which probably means they have identified many potential sites and are limited by inspection man-power.

Lindsay Keith

9:44 AM, 7th September 2019
About A week ago

I am mildly surprised the Human Rights Industry haven't picked this up? Snooping, Invasion of Privacy etc...?

Jo Ramkissoon

11:00 AM, 7th September 2019
About A week ago

Slightly off-topic but what I don't understand is why these minimum room sizes have become such an issue for LA's. I am definitely against over-crowding or LL's offering sub-standard accommodation or treating tenants badly but a small room doesn't mean this is the case. So, LL's are being forced to move out tenants from smaller rooms and these tenants (who usually cannot afford high rents), are forced out on the streets, most of the time. Therefore, a shed can become preferable to the streets, for some. Conclusion, the approach to the PRS is reactive and unhelpful.

Michael Barnes

22:45 PM, 7th September 2019
About A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Jo Ramkissoon at 07/09/2019 - 11:00
That's about right.

Chris Daniel

20:51 PM, 10th September 2019
About 6 days ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 04/09/2019 - 17:31
Yes, quite right Michael, I don't believe any of the respectable Landlords on forums like this advocate accommodation - conditions such as sheds, and yes, its the more vulnerable that are being exploited in this way.

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