A young man has been discovered paying £250 a month for a sleeping space in a cupboard under the stairs, measuring just 22 square feet.
Inspectors for Newham Council discovered the tiny sleeping area in an overcrowded house in Beckton, east London.
The four-bedroom property had been fitted with 11 ‘sleeping spaces’, according to the council, with bunk beds crammed into small rooms.
Officers also uncovered serious fire and electrical safety hazards in the two-storey house, which was occupied by residents who were of Asian origin, who said that they each paid between £200 and £250 a month.
The poor conditions were uncovered during an early-morning raid as part of a crackdown on rogue private landlords in the borough.
“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,” said mayor of Newham Sir Robin Williams, who accompanied inspectors on the raid.
He added: “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.
“That is why it’s imperative that the government allow us to continue with this work, and stop the exploitation of tenants.”
Newham Council said all the landlords involved would be issued with financial penalty notices, which could be up to £30,000 per offence.