Council raid uncovers death trap properties, overcrowding and unlicensed HMOs

Council raid uncovers death trap properties and overcrowding.

Landlords will be in for a big surprise from enforcement officers for allowing overcrowding, dangerous living conditions and for operating without a HMO licence. With a view to prosecute, properties will now face further examination and landlords will be forced to deal with the overcrowding and health and safety issues.

Out of the 32 properties visited, 17 were found to be operating illegally with no HMO license. A death trap property in filthy conditions with no fire escape or smoke alarms had 28 men crammed in a 4 bed property in Stanmore. They were all sharing a tiny bathroom and kitchen. Officers are currently tracking down the landlord so that they can fix the property, deal with the overcrowding and have it licensed. 

In a different property in Edgware, men were found hiding in a shed sandwiched between mattresses. The two storey house, had around 15 people living there including three children – the youngest being an 8 month old baby.

Some of the other things uncovered were illegally converted outhouses, an overcrowded licenced property and a person sleeping in a storage area who, after refusing officers entry, claimed they were on holiday.

Officers will continue to carry out inspections with the landlords and agents to get these properties licenced - or we'll take them to court.

Cllr Graham Henson, Cabinet member for environment said:

“No one should ever live in squalor or unsafe homes. Our raids are about making sure properties are safe, and also that landlords and tenants are not taking advantage or operating legally. We always work with landlords to help resolve issues and problems. 

“Unfortunately there are some who flout the rules for their own greed and take advantage - and where we find properties in disrepair or rogue landlords and tenants, we take action against them with fines or worse prosecution.”