News

Dawn raid in Dagenham uncovers shocking Dickensian conditions

Monday, August 17, 2015 - Barking & Dagenham Council

Enforcement officers have swooped on three addresses in east London as part of Barking and Dagenham Council’s clampdown on rogue landlords.

Council officers, along with officers from the local estates’ police team, found 55 people including children living in the properties in Dagenham, during the operation that took place on Thursday 13 August 2015.

The raid was led by Barking and Dagenham Council’s Private Landlord Team who run a borough-wide licensing scheme for all rented accommodation.

In Fordyke Road, officers discovered 22 people including four children in an illegally converted house with four bedrooms.

In Manor Road, officers found 18 people living in cramped and dangerous conditions including two children in six bedrooms – although the house was originally designed to hold three.

And in Japan Road there were 15 people, including five children, living in five rooms in what should be a three-bedroom house. Officers also discovered a so-called bed in shed structure outside.

In all three properties there were health and safety hazards, including illegal wiring and no fire precautions.

Officers are continuing their investigations with a view to prosecute the landlords, while the cases have also been referred to social services.

Barking & Dagenham Councillor 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.

For more information on property licensing requirements in Barking and Dagenham, visit www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/barking-dagenham. You can also find out more on the Council’s website

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