Council takes action over damp and mould at St Michael’s Gate

Residents   of St Michael's Gate gather from a protest against eviction. Pictured (left) is Jelana Stevic with petition EMN-161113-172443009

Residents of St Michael's Gate gather from a protest against eviction. Pictured (left) is Jelana Stevic with petition EMN-161113-172443009

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The housing company which is evicting residents from St Michael’s Gate so homeless families can move in was handed an enforcement notice due to complaints about damp and mould.

Peterborough City Council, which agreed a deal with property firm Stef & Philips to move homeless people into the estate, stepped in last month after discovering one of the homes in Parnwell was too cold for the existing residents to live in.

A council spokesman said: “We have written to the landlords and told them to address a number of issues found at a property on St Michael’s Gate.

“Housing enforcement officers visited and found that the property was too cold because of inefficient heating and there were issues with ventilation causing damp and mould.

“The current occupiers are moving to a new home in the next day or so following support from the council. We will visit the property again before a family in need of temporary accommodation is placed there to ensure the issues have been addressed.

“We encourage any resident that has concerns about their rented accommodation to contact us in order for these to be investigated.”

The St Michael’s Gate estate has made national news after the Peterborough Telegraph exclusively revealed that 72 residents and their families were being evicted by their new landlord, Paul Simon Magic Homes.

The evictions are being carried out by the managing agents for the homes, Stef & Philips, which then agreed a deal with Peterborough City Council worth nearly £1 million a year for the authority to move homeless families into the vacated properties.

As of yesterday, 35 homeless families had moved onto the estate, while six St Michael’s Gate families have been moved by the council into social or private housing.

Enforcement action– which was revealed by BBC programme ‘Inside Out’ – was taken by the council on January 20 after a visit to athe home on December 16.

The visit was prompted by a complaint to the council.

A council spokesman said it has not issued any further enforcement notices for St Michael’s Gate properties.

The PT contacted Stef & Philips about the enforcement notice. Shaz Wasim, the firm’s business development director, said it had “inherited numerous disrepair problems from the previous managing agent” and had begun making repairs before being instructed to do so by the council.

He added: “All properties will be brought up to our standards.” Paul Simon Magic Homes said: “No comment.”

The PT is campaigning for a change in the law to prevent a repeat of the St Michael’s Gate saga.