Brent's enforcement team inspected a three-bedroom semi-detached house in Kingsbury in the early hours of this morning (27 September) accompanied by police.
The raid followed complaints from residents about the number of men seen coming and going from the house in the suburban street of Princes Avenue.
Double and single mattresses jammed up against the doors made it difficult for officers to gain easy access throughout the house. Every room, except the gangway kitchen and the bathroom, contained bed spaces, including the tiny, windowless, illegally converted loft space.
Officers found more than 20 men living in appalling and unsafe living conditions for which they said they were paying between £30 and £50 a week. The illegal HMO also contained faulty smoke alarms, poor ventilation, insanitary conditions, 26 bed spaces and fire hazards.
An investigation is now under way to track down the rogue landlord or agent renting out the property.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: "We have a zero tolerance policy against landlords who exploit tenants by housing them in slum-like conditions. No tenant in Brent should believe that they are powerless against a landlord who takes their money in exchange for squalor. We are here to help tenants fight back against rogue landlords by taking them to court."
From October 1, any property that is rented out to five or more people who are not all related will require a mandatory 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