07:00 02 February 2017
A council-led dawn raid last Thursday revealed cramped conditions in properties across Barking and Dagenham. Picture: Barking and Dagenham Council.
A series of dawn raids revealed tenants paying thousands of pounds to “criminal” landlords.
In Gay Gardens, Dagenham, officers found two families of three paying up to £900 each to live in a four-bedroom bungalow.
The council-led operation last Thursday also found 11 people including two children living in one three-bedroom house in Sherwood Gardens, Barking. Their fire escape routes were blocked and smoke alarms out of action.
Just a mile away in Upney Lane, ten tenants were discovered paying £600 each to live in a property illegally converted into bedsits. Elsewhere, five men were living in a three-bedroom house in Western Avenue, Dagenham, also without smoke alarms.
Councillor Laila Butt, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety condemned the “criminal” landlords.
“Rip-off landlords are the scourge of London – they are not your comic Rigsby types but more like Rachman,” she said.
“I can assure our residents that we will be relentless in our determination to stand up for standards and drive out these criminal landlords.”
The crack-down by the council’s private rented sector team is the 100th operation over the past two years to enforce the borough-wide private rental property licensing scheme.
No court dates have yet been set for the offences.