Thomas Bridge 17 August 2015

Council raid reveals 55 people living in ‘Dickensian’ conditions

A dawn raid by council officers has uncovered 55 people – including 11 children – living in three houses amid ‘Dickensian’ conditions.

Officers from Barking and Dagenham LBC’s private landlord team and local police found the tenants living in accommodation designed to house just 10 people.

The landlords responsible for the properties could now face prosecution.

Officers in the east London borough uncovered 22 people including four children in one illegally converted house with just four bedrooms.

Another property originally designed to hold only three was housing 18 people, including two children, in cramped and dangerous conditions.

The third swoop by officers discovered 15 people, including five children, living in five rooms in what should have been a three-bedroom house.

Illegal wiring and dangerous lack of fire precautions were also found in all three properties.

Cllr Laila Butt, cabinet member for crime and enforcement, said: ‘It’s unacceptable to have these almost Dickensian conditions in a world class city such as London.

‘The vast majority of landlords are socially responsible and they have nothing to fear from our inspections.

‘But those criminal landlords who are making a mint out of other people’s misery and London’s ridiculous rental market, are not welcome here and should clear out of Barking and Dagenham or face the consequences.’

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