More than a million TV viewers tuned in to watch Brent Council's enforcement team swoop in on a family-sized bungalow "death trap" that was illegally housing up to 30 men.
A crew filming for the Channel 5's primetime series, Bad Tenants, Rogue Landlords, shadowed council enforcement officers as they raided the property in Wembley.
The episode, which was broadcast on Thursday and Saturday (5 and 7 July), showed men crammed inside appalling conditions. Damp and mould caked the walls, windows and doors had been blocked off and smoke alarms had been covered up. Mattresses littered the floors of the living room, dining room and even the pantry. Makeshift bunkbeds made out of wood offcuts, pallets and tarpaulins enabled ten men to share one bedroom originally designed for two people.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: "This episode clearly showed the nightmarish reality facing vulnerable tenants. We will use all the powers available to us to put a stop to landlords and subletters who exploit renters in this way."
One of the occupants of the bungalow told enforcement officers that he was paying £50 a week to live there.
A prosecution case is being brought against three subletters who are accused of illegally renting out the property without a HMO licence.
Brent Council has extended selective licensing to all privately rented properties in Dudden Hill, Kensal Green, Kilburn, Mapesbury and Queen's Park.
From 1 October, government changes will require any property rented out to five or more unrelated people to be issued with a mandatory HMO licence.
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
Photos courtesy of Channel 5.