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A Brent landlord running an illegal HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) was estimated to be raking in £68,400 a year.
Officers from London’s Brent council found 16 people crammed inside the unlicensed HMO, a converted three-bedroom semi – including three in the shed.
The Council raid followed tip-offs from neighbours. Fly-tipping and the constant coming-and-going from the property had led neighbours to complain to Brent council’s enforcement team.
The three tenants in the shed were found to be paying the Brent landlord up to £800 per month for the privilege.
One family of four told officers they were paying the landlord £800 a month to live in a single, windowless room on the ground-floor.
Tenants had no written tenancy agreement from their landlord or any cash receipts for their rent payments – with the Brent landlord estimated to be raking in £68,400 a year.
The illegal house in multiple occupation operated by the Brent landlord also lacked a working fire alarm system, had poor maintenance, and also had poor ventilation.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, cabinet member for Housing and Welfare Reform, confirmed that the Brent landlord ‘faces a hefty fine for breaking the licensing laws around houses in multiple occupation’.
She said: ‘We will do everything in our power to protect vulnerable tenants from this kind of gross exploitation. Every renter in Brent deserves to live in a home that is safe and maintained to a decent standard.’
Earlier this week, Brent council’s cabinet backed changes to the way limited social housing is allocated in the borough – with homelessness increasing and a third of the borough’s residents in PRS.
The cabinet is driving forward an ambitious programme to build 1,000 council homes, increasing affordable housing through the council-owned company i4B and London-wide Capital Letters initiative, and driving up standards in the private rented sector.