A Blackpool property has been shutdown by the council over serious health concerns after a sea of raw sewage was found in the basement.
A Blackpool legal caseworker even described 10 Palatine Road in the town centre as the worst property he had seen in his 30-year career.
The house was rented by Sue Graham, with her husband, son and daughter-in-law living there as well.
The family were originally unlawfully evicted from the premises and it was only after the intervention of a legal centre when they secured an injunction requiring the landlord to allow them to re-enter and occupy the premises off Central Drive.
The house, formerly the Broomcroft Hotel, was shutdown by the council over serious health concerns
However, during this time it was apparent that the premises were not fit for human habitation and a referral was made to the council to request them to inspect the premises.
The major issue was that there was raw sewage in the basement, a serious health hazard to anyone in the building.
Shortly after she had moved into the premises, Sue had complained about the housing conditions but little or no action was taken by her landlord.
“This has included dampness throughout the premises, the possibility of subsidence and most importantly the presence of raw sewage. This has affected my health together with other members of my family”.
On Tuesday, housing enforcement officials, as well as police officers for support, visited 10 Palatine Road and due to the ‘extremely serious detrimental health issues’ an immediate emergency prohibition order was made preventing anyone from living there.
Sue and her family have been housed in emergency accommodation.
Dr Ron Heywood, senior legal caseworker at the Fylde Advice and Legal Centre said: “I have dealt with housing conditions throughout most of my career and this is one of the worst that I have ever encountered.
“Landlords must ensure that they comply with all legal obligations and certainly this one is not.
“The actions taken by the council ensure it is a local authority with a very pro-active approach to housing enforcement and on this occasion can be only congratulated on the steps taken”
Ron also explained the dangers of sewer gas, which contains methane, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide which are all toxic when inhaled.
He added: “If exposed to very high concentrations of sewer gas, a person can asphyxiate and die. More common symptoms of exposure to sewer gas include nausea, eye irritation and difficulty breathing.
“I’m glad that the Graham family are now out of the property and hopefully the landlord will be able to rectify the serious problems with the property.”