Dawn raid discovers 11 people crammed into grimy rundown semi in Wembley

Tuesday, June 27th, 2023 - Brent Council

Brent Council housing enforcement officers found 11 people crammed inside a three-bed semi-detached house following an early morning raid last month following a tip-off from eagled-eyed residents.

Housing enforcement officers entered the property in West Hill, Wembley, accompanied by police officers, shortly after 6am. They found tenants sleeping in every room inside the house, except for the kitchen and bathroom.

The three-bedroom, semi-detached property was not a licensed House in Multiple Occupation and no licence application had been submitted, which is a legal requirement.

Officers were disgusted to see the conditions nearly a dozen people were living in as they carried out their inspection. They found:

  • a polystyrene ceiling giving way inside the kitchen.
  • no fire safety doors.
  • no fire alarm system.
  • extensive damp and black mould covering the walls and ceilings.

The tenants told the housing enforcement officers they were paying a combined rent of more than £2,000 per month to their landlord to live in the property’s squalid conditions.

Cllr Promise Knight, Brent Cabinet Member for Housing, Homelessness and Renters’ Security, said:

It is shocking and horrifying that rogue landlords make a profit from keeping people in dangerous and slum-like conditions like this. People in vulnerable circumstances tend not to know what rights they have as renters. Rogue landlords who exploit their tenants’ vulnerability will find themselves facing hefty fines and possibly a criminal conviction. We will use whatever powers we have to hold them to account.

Following the inspection, Brent Council will continue their investigation before deciding whether to prosecute the landlord, or issue civil financial penalties of up to £30,000 for each offence.

Our free guide containing more information about property licensing and HMO planning restrictions in the London Borough of Brent is available here.

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