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Posted on August 13th 2015 by admin-movingin

Council investigates landlord ‘charging £500 per month for space the size of a mat’

Newham council has confirmed it is carrying out an investigation into a landlord who is allegedly charging £500 a month for a ‘bedroom’ which barely has space for a mat on the floor.

Officers from the east London borough visited the East Ham property on Monday and found evidence of ten bed spaces in the three-bedroom property, including sleeping areas in the loft and a downstairs reception area.

This was despite the landlord telling the council that the house was occupied by just one family.

Three tenants were present at the house when the visit took place. They told Newham council workers they paid either £200 or £250 a month to rent there, but a police officer who took a picture of the mat space was told its owner paid £500 a month.

During the visit one person was arrested by police at the property for immigration reasons.

A spokeswoman for Newham council said: “We use a data system which gathers information from various parts of the council and our partner organisations to assist us in identifying houses that may be in multiple occupation. This information includes council tax, benefits, planning, waste, adults, enforcement, and residents’ complaints.

“This house was suggested through this system. We then requested documentation from the landlord including tenancy agreements, gas and electrical safety systems etc. The landlord failed to provide this information so we added the property on to our operations list.

“On Monday we went to the property with police as part of our routine operations. We usually do two operations like this a week and visit multiple properties.

“The house is a three-bedroom property traditionally, although the front ground reception room and the loft were being used as bedrooms. There were 10 bed spaces found in the five rooms being used as bedrooms.”

The council is carrying out further investigations with a view to prosecuting the landlord.

Andrew Baikie, Newham council’s mayoral adviser for housing, said: “Our pioneering private rented sector licensing scheme is using council data to hone in on landlords who are exploiting tenants by cramming them into houses to make a quick profit.

“During a joint operation with the police on Monday we found this three-bedroom property in East Ham with evidence of 10 sleeping areas, including this mat.

“We are still investigating but this landlord can expect to hear from us in the near future about potential breaches of housing regulations and licensing laws.”

Click here for the Evening Standard story

The area it is claimed a Newham landlord is charging £500 per month to rent out (Pic: @MPSNewham (Twitter))

The area it is claimed a Newham landlord is charging £500 per month to rent out (Pic: @MPSNewham (Twitter))