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Rip-off landlords are "scourge of London" says Labour politician

A senior Labour politician in a London borough has branded so-called ‘rip off landlords’ as “the scourge of London.”

Councillor Laila Butt, a cabinet member on Barking and Dagenham council, says: “Rip-off landlords are the scourge of London. I can assure our residents that we will be relentless in our determination to stand up for standards and drive out these criminal landlords.”

Her comments came after a series of raids by council officers revealed dozens of tenants living in squalid, cramped and dangerous conditions paying thousands of pounds a month to landlords

In one three-bedroom house officers found 11 people including two children living there with blocked fire escape routes and out of action smoke alarms.

And in another property illegally converted into bedsits in Barking, 10 tenants were paying around £600 each for a room.

Officers also found nine people including two families of three paying up to £900 each living in a four bedroom bungalow; in another property, each bedroom was locked and had no smoke alarms while the garden was filled with rubbish and had a bed frame in it.

Some 25 landlords have appeared before magistrates as a result of the raids. 

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