Brent Housing Enforcement Team, accompanied by the police, made a startling discovery yesterday when they found 11 individuals crammed into a three-bedroom semi-detached house in West Hill, Wembley.
Acting on a tip-off from vigilant residents, the team entered the premises shortly after 6am, only to witness deplorable living conditions and numerous safety violations.
The property, lacking the legally required House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licenses, had tenants sleeping in every room except the kitchen and bathroom. The inspection revealed an array of alarming hazards, including a kitchen with a polystyrene ceiling that was on the verge of collapsing, the absence of fire safety doors, and an inadequate fire alarm system.
Additionally, dampness and black mould covered the walls and ceilings, significantly affecting the occupants’ respiratory health.
To make matters worse, tenants informed Brent’s licensing enforcement team that they collectively paid over £2,000 in rent to the landlord, despite the squalid conditions they were subjected to.
This revelation prompted Cllr Promise Knight, the Cabinet Member for Housing, Homelessness, and Renters’ Security at Brent Council, to express her shock at the situation.
“It is shocking and horrifying that rogue landlords make a profit from keeping people in dangerous and slum-like conditions like this,” Cllr Promise Knight said.
She further emphasised the vulnerability of individuals in such circumstances, often unaware of their rights as renters. Promising swift action against exploitative landlords, Knight stressed that they would face hefty fines and possibly criminal convictions. The council would utilise all available powers to hold these unscrupulous individuals accountable.
The discovery of overcrowded and hazardous living conditions highlights the critical need for stronger enforcement measures and improved tenant protection. Authorities aim to ensure that individuals residing within the borough have access to safe and habitable housing, with the full weight of the law being brought down upon landlords who disregard their responsibilities.
The Brent Housing Enforcement Team, in collaboration with other relevant agencies, is currently working to relocate the tenants to alternative accommodations and provide them with the necessary support. Meanwhile, investigations into the landlord’s actions and potential violations are underway.