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Raid in Brent finds 11 makeshift bedsits crammed in unlicensed converted house

PUBLISHED: 10:17 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:17 16 August 2017

Brent Council enforcement officers raided an unlicensed property converted into 11 makeshift bedsits

Brent Council enforcement officers raided an unlicensed property converted into 11 makeshift bedsits

Archant

Dozens of tenants were discovered living in damp and unsafe converted bedsits during a dawn enforcement raid in Preston Road.

Five enforcement officers found eleven rooms, some of which had no windows, inside a converted property housing tenants in makeshift bedsits.

The raid was carried out yesterday morning as part of Brent Council’s continued crackdown on rogue landlords and illegal subletters in the borough.

Officers found rooms with mould, damp and disrepairs due to cooking and toiletry facilities that had been crammed within them.

The unlicensed property in Preston Road had no working fire safety system, blocked fire escape routes and health hazards created by poor ventilation.

Tenancy agreements showed that some of the residents were paying £600 a month in rent, allowing the landlord potentially to rake in £6,600 a month from the eleven rooms.

The landlord, who arrived at the property while the inspection was ongoing, told enforcement officers that he wasn’t aware that he needed a licence, the council said.

Cllr Harbi Farah, cabinet member for housing and welfare reform, said: “This is unacceptable. Landlords cannot be allowed to exploit tenants and, here in Brent, we’re determined to crackdown on rogue operators. We’ve made great progress with our licensing scheme and are now pressing the government to let us roll it out even further across the borough as soon as possible.”

Rogue landlords in Brent have been forced to fork more than £600,000 in fines since January 2016.

Brent landlords who let out shared accommodation, can apply for a licence online at brent.gov.uk/prslicensing

If you suspect that someone is renting out an unlicensed property in Brent, report them anonymously at brent.gov.uk/reportaproperty

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