THE number of bedsits in Blackburn with Darwen is cause for concern among senior council staff.

Director of adult services and prevention, Sayyed Osman, said the borough had a high number of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and it was placing extra demand on other services.

Mr Osman said the high number of HMOs and support services on offer in Blackburn with Darwen meant people often move into the borough purely to access these services.

“As far as challenges go, the number of HMOs is a big concern. We have a disproportionate number of HMOs compared to other local authorities,” he said.

“We need to make sure other local authorities are doing what they need to do.”

In December, council bosses said tighter regulations were needed to tackle sub-standard bedsits in Blackburn with Darwen.

Borough community safety manager Mark Aspin said if there was an inspection framework similar to Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission, the majority of houses in multiple occupation - commonly known as bedsits - around the borough would be shut down within a year.

Members heard there were more than 2,000 bedsit rooms available across the borough as of the end of last year.

And Mr Aspin said tighter regulations were needed to tackle sub-standard bedsits

Bosses say the council does not have powers to properly tackle the problem, with some properties having no carpets, no furniture and not even any paint on the walls.