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A Redbridge landlord has been fined £7,500 after he was found to be cramming 23 people into a house in east London. The property in question, situated in Beehive Lane, Gants Hill, had room for just six occupants.
Housing officers at Redbridge council raided the property following complaints from neighbours about overcrowding. The officers discovered 16 people currently in the house as well as evidence of another seven living there. The people inside did not have access to sufficient cooking, washing and toilet facilities. The residents inside were also all adults.
The property’s managing agent, Marvel Estates Limited, held a house in multiple occupation (HMO) licence, however it was only valid for six tenants.
Following the raid, which took place in June last year the firm, based in Forest Gate, appealed against a financial penalty imposed by the council. However, at a tribunal hearing last month it agreed to pay the fine.
The cabinet member for housing and homelessness at Redbridge Council said: ‘We are determined to root out rogue landlords and this financial penalty makes it clear we mean business. It’s unacceptable for tenants to be living in conditions which fail to comply with legislated requirements. We want to work with landlords to prevent this kind of situation but if they are not willing to do so, our message is clear – we will find and fine you.’
The fine for the Redbridge landlord is part of a wider crackdown on rogue landlords in Redbridge and across London. Last month in Brent a landlord was found to have crammed 26 mattresses into a dangerous three-bedroom house. Officers forced their way into the property and found over 20 men who were residing in conditions described as ‘appalling and unsafe’. The house, located in Kingsbury, was described by the council as one of the worst illegal HMOs it has ever experienced.