A rogue landlord operating in Beckton was caught renting an overcrowded house when a man was found to be sleeping in a ‘cupboard under the stairs’ in the east London property.
In the latest in a string of tiny and uninhabitable properties in the capital, the Newham landlord had let the room, measuring a meagre 1m x 2m, for £250 per month, according to the MailOnline. An early morning raid of the property by council inspectors found a young man sleeping beneath a gas meter. Eleven further sleeping spaces were found throughout the rest of the property, with bunk beds crammed into small single rooms.
The overcrowding was detected as Newham Council inspectors raided the house as part of a scheme to ensure that all privately rented homes in the borough were correctly licensed. During the inspection, officers also uncovered fire and safety hazards throughout the property. The search on the Beckton home was part of a three-property raid. During the same search, the inspection team uncovered a shed structure in Upton Park, which housed three people, each paying £200 per month in rent. The shed was divided into eight rooms, situated over three floors, which were shared by four families.
All the rogue landlords uncovered during the raid will be issued financial penalty notices (FPNs). These can amount to up to £30,000 per offence.
The Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, commented on the rogue landlords and their crimes: ‘It cannot be right in the 21st century, in one of the world’s wealthiest cities, a young man is being forced to pay hundreds of pounds to rent a cupboard under the stairs, sleeping alongside the gas meter. The scenes we saw on this visit are a timely reminder that, while by tackling bad landlords we are driving up standards, there is still much to do.’