Redbridge Council cracks down on illegal HMOs in early morning raids

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LONDON: Multiple raids at locations across the borough have caught out rogue sub-letters who have been illegally renting out properties as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). Redbridge Council’s Property Licensing team and Councillor Farah Hussain paid an early morning visit to the Gants Hill property alleged to be operating as an unlicensed HMO.

Cllr. Farah Hussain

Magistrates had issued a warrant to enter the property which was found to be in poor condition with clear fire safety and electrical safety hazards and enforcement action will now follow. This multi-agency raid on the morning of Tuesday 6 February came after several reports of large numbers of people living in the property which alerted the officers that it might be operating as HMO – homes occupied by three or more people who are not related and share facilities.
We’re working hard to crack down on unlicensed properties, and in the last week have raided six properties alleged to be illegally sublet and overcrowded in the Barkingside, Clay hall, Hainault, and Newbury wards. Of the six properties searched, four were found to be overcrowded and operating illegally as HMOs.
Councillor Farah Hussain, Cabinet Member for Housing, said, “We implemented property licensing to protect our most vulnerable tenants. These poor quality overcrowded properties are unsafe and the effects of living in these conditions will have a long term impact on the health of the occupants. I was shocked to see the conditions that some people live in and I’m angry that somebody ismakingmoney from them. “In Redbridge we want to encourage good landlords who provide good quality homes for their tenants.
However, we intend on driving criminal landlords from the borough and this operation I went on and our success with a £97,445Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of CrimeAct against a criminal landlord last week shows our determination to do that”. She elaborated; “Our proposed elective licencing in an additional twelve wards will go a step further in helping us create a standard for these rentals hot spot areas,so I’m calling on the Secretary of State to approve our application for this licensing and help us to stamp out rogue landlords”.