A council leader in London, so outraged after a bust of a rogue lettings property, has asked: “What kind of monster would profit from housing children in filthy and dangerous conditions like these?”
Graham Henson, leader of Harrow council, asked the question after a severely overcrowded property was banned from being let.
Children were among those living amid mould and faulty electrics after a landlord ignored warnings from the authority.
Housing enforcement officers from the council had a narrow escape when they raided a property in Wealdstone so dangerous that the bathroom floor almost collapsed beneath them.
Although the landlord claimed there were just two tenants, officers were greeted on arrival by a sea of mattresses and some roughly-assembled bunk beds made from planks.
The unlicensed HMO is believed to have crammed together as many as 18 people including children. It had no working smoke detectors, faulty electrics, and mould all over the property.
“What kind of monster would profit from housing children in filthy and dangerous conditions like these? What if these faulty electrics caught fire? Or the rotten ceilings collapsed? It’s a nightmare that belongs in the Victorian era, not today” says Henson.
“It keeps me awake at night, worrying about illegal HMOs like these and the criminals that rent them out. We will never, ever stop uncovering properties like these and punishing those responsible.”
Henson says formal action will now be taken against the landlord for planning and housing offences and an emergency prohibition order will remain in place, preventing anyone from living there until the property has been made safe.