An ‘unsafe’ house in multiple occupation (HMO) in north London has been uncovered by enforcement officers from Brent Council following a dawn raid, as the local authority continues to clamp down on rogue landlords in the local area.
Officers discovered ten people sleeping in a converted three-bedroom semi-detached house in Wembley when they raided the property in Carlton Avenue East during the early hours last Friday.
Council officers identified a number of serious hazards in the unlicensed HMO, including no fire detection system, no fire doors and unsafe electrics within the poorly maintained property.
Council officers are now trying to track down the owner of the property and bring those responsible for managing the illegal HMO to justice.
Spencer Randolph, head of private housing services at Brent Council, commented: “The people living in this house are handing over more than £30,000 a year in rent and in return they are being short changed with unsafe living conditions.
“It’s not acceptable that private tenants paying decent rents should be exploited and put in danger by unprofessional landlords and agents.
“We brought in licencing to deal with just these sorts of issues and to give us more powers to take a robust approach against rogue landlords. If you're letting out a property in Brent, you need to be sure who's living in it and ensure it is properly managed and maintained. If it needs a licence, apply for one now before we catch you and hit you with a hefty fine and even a criminal record.”
Brent Coucil saw its plans to introduce new licensing schemes for privately rented homes in Dudden Hill, Kensal Green, Kilburn, Mapesbury and Queen's Park electoral wards approved by the Secretary State for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in February.
The government’s approval to Brent Council's selective licensing application adds to the existing approved areas of Harlesden, Wembley Central and Willesden to extend the law to eight wards across Brent.
Cllr Harbi Farah, cabinet member for housing and welfare reform, said: “Brent Council is driving up housing standards in the private rented sector and cracking down on rogue landlords. We are hoping that the government will agree to extend selective licensing across more wards in the near future.”