Dawn raid finds 17 men living in three-bedroom terrace

27 November 2019

Enforcement officers awoke 17 men sleeping on mattresses during a dawn raid this morning (27 November).

The exploited tenants were crammed inside a three-bedroom, two-storey terrace house in Coles Green Road, Dollis Hill.

The raid followed a tip-off about a suspected unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). 

The men were paying £50 a week to a head tenant in exchange for overcrowded, unsafe and illegal housing conditions. Mould covered the walls of one of the makeshift bedrooms on the ground floor. None of the smoke alarms in the property was in working order.

The 17 renters were sharing one bathroom and kitchen between them, with up to five people kipping down on mattresses in one of the rooms.  

Spencer Randolph, Head of Private Housing Services, said: “We’ve seen illegal sublets try to pass the buck on who is responsible for exploiting vulnerable tenants. The bottom line is that we will hold rogue landlords and subletters responsible for breaking licensing laws, and we’ll take prosecutions against both.

“Running illegal, unlicensed properties can land landlords and subletters in court. If found guilty, they’ll be subject to unlimited fines and a criminal conviction.”

Licensing laws for small HMOs have been extended in Brent for a further five years.

If you are a Brent landlord who lets out shared accommodation, you can apply for a licence online at www.brent.gov.uk/prslicensing   

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