Harrow Council find up to 18 people crammed into two bedroom property

Friday, June 8th, 2018 - Harrow Council

A severely overcrowded two bedroom property in Wealdstone has been prohibited from use after Harrow Council found up to 18 people including children living in substandard conditions.

Although the landlord claimed there were just two tenants – officers were greeted on arrival by a sea of mattresses and some roughly-assembled bunk beds made from planks of wood.

Harrow Council housing raid 2018

The unlicensed HMO is believed to have crammed together as many as 18 people including children. It had no working smoke detectors, faulty electrics, and mould all over the property.

Housing enforcement officers from Harrow Council had a lucky escape during the inspection – the bathroom floor was so dangerous that it almost collapsed beneath them.

Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council said:

What kind of monster would profit from housing children in filthy and dangerous conditions like these? What if these faulty electrics caught fire? Or the rotten ceilings collapsed? It’s a nightmare that belongs in the Victorian era, not today.

It keeps me awake at night, worrying about illegal HMOs like these and the criminals that rent them out. We will never, ever stop uncovering properties like these and punishing those responsible.

According to the council, formal action will now be taken against the landlord for planning and housing offences and an emergency prohibition order will remain in place, preventing anyone from living there until the property has been made safe.

Harrow Council operates more licensing schemes than any other London borough. There is mandatory HMO licensing, borough wide additional licensing and three smaller selective licensing schemes. Operating a licensable but unlicensed property is an offence that can result in prosecution and a hefty fine, or a civil penalty of up to £30,000.

To find out more about the property licensing rules in Harrow, visit

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