Enforcement officers from Barking and Dagenham council, one of the most active in chasing up private rental sector issues, has discovered four properties being operated by landlords who had not signed up to the local authority’s licensing scheme.
One property was divided into six units and appeared to serve as a hotel while another was excessively overcrowded with one room on the ground floor containing eight people.
Another property was being used as an HMO.
In total there were 70 people found to be living in all four properties.
A council spokeswoman says: “It’s unacceptable to have landlords take advantage of people in this manner in order to make a fast buck. They are not only taking advantage of vulnerable people and children but abusing our landlord licensing scheme – that is if they are licensed.
“If they cannot abide by council’s rules they will be prosecuted in court as previous successful prosecutions. We will not tolerate or accept this attitude from rogue landlords."