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Illegal HMO uncovered as London council continues enforcement crackdown

Words: Laura Edgar
Illegal HMO / iStock-539281399

Enforcement officers at Brent Council have raided a property off Preston Road to find an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

Ten men and women were found sleeping in the property in Carlton Avenue East, which was originally a three-bedroom semi-detached house.

Brent Council said it is “ramping up” its enforcement activities before new legislation comes into force in October 2018. The raided house would be classified as a mandatory HMO, with the new regulations meaning any privately rented property with five or more people living in it who are not related will need a mandatory licence.

Officers uncovered a number of serious hazards at the property, including the lack of a fire detection system, no fire doors and unsafe electrics.

Spencer Randolph, head of private housing services, said: “The people living in this house are handing over more than £30,000 a year in rent and in return they are being short-changed with unsafe living conditions. It’s not acceptable that private tenants paying decent rents should be exploited and put in danger by unprofessional landlords and agents.

“We brought in licensing to deal with just these sorts of issues and to give us more powers to take a robust approach against rogue landlords. If you’re letting out a property in Brent, you need to be sure who’s living in it and ensure that it is properly managed and maintained. If it needs a licence, apply for one now before we catch you and hit you with a hefty fine and even a criminal record.”

The council said its officers are now working to track down the owner of the property and bring those responsible for managing the illegal HMO to justice.

Image credit | iStock