More than 20 men were discovered living in cramped conditions in a three-bedroom house in north-west London during a raid by Brent Council’s enforcement team during the early hours of yesterday morning accompanied by police.
The officers found 26 beds crammed into squalid conditions in the Kingsbury house, with double and single mattresses jammed up against the doors making it difficult for inspectors to gain easy access throughout the property.
Every room, except the gangway kitchen and the bathroom, contained bed spaces, including the tiny, windowless, illegally converted loft space.
Despite the fact that the property was in appalling and unsafe living conditions, not to mention far too small for the number of tenants living there, officers found that the occupants were paying between £30 and £50 a week each for a bed space, which suggests that the landlord was pocketing between £2,820 and £4,460 a month.
The illegal HMO also contained faulty smoke alarms, poor ventilation, insanitary conditions, 26 bed spaces and fire hazards.
An investigation is now under way to track down the rogue landlord or agent renting out the property.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, cabinet member for housing and welfare reform, said: “We have a zero tolerance policy against landlords who exploit tenants by housing them in slum-like conditions.
“No tenant in Brent should believe that they are powerless against a landlord who takes their money in exchange for squalor.
“We are here to help tenants fight back against rogue landlords by taking them to court.”