Police and housing officers raided an unused police station in Barking, East London and found up to 30 people living there.
An anonymous tip-off prompted the raid in Ripple Road on Friday. The police station was sold in 2013.
When a team from Barking and Dagenham Council's Enforcement team turned up, they discovered evidence of as many as 30 tenants living in five rooms in what appeared to be a 'beds for hire' hostel.
The building contained a number of mattresses and wardrobes and suitcases packed with clothes, as well as a washing machine and TV. A sign urging residents to do their washing up indicated the property was lived in.
Cabinet member for crime and enforcement Cllr Laila Butt said: “Our war on rogue landlords will be relentless. We will not tolerate overcrowding in Barking and Dagenham and anyone making a mint out of others’ misery.”
Police and the council plan to speak to the owners of the building following the raid.
Deputy Borough Commander Supt Sean Wilson said: “Local neighbourhood police officers supported the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Enforcement Officers in their closing of this venue.
"The excellent work by the local authority has ensured that this venue can no longer be used for illicit purposes.”
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