THIRTY people in a three-bed semi: Shocking TV documentary reveals mattresses crammed in every room and men sleeping in the garden of a London house
- Inspectors found stacks of mattresses crammed into house in Harrow, London
- Some people also sprawl out in the garden because they can’t fit inside the semi
- String of noise complaints from neighbours prompted officers to inspect house
- Documentary exposes rogue landlords who profit from illegal tenants forced to live in squalid conditions
Published: 16:36 EDT, 3 June 2019 | Updated: 03:45 EDT, 4 June 2019
Thirty people were discovered squeezed into one three bedroom house in a documentary that exposed the squalid living conditions endured by tenants.
Inspectors found stacks of mattresses crammed into every room inside the semi-detached property in Harrow, north west London.
But there are still not enough beds for everyone and lack of sleeping space inside the modest home saw some forced to sprawl out in the back garden.
Camera crews explored the dire rental property in last night’s Channel 5 documentary ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords.’
The series exposes rogue landlords who rake in thousands from illegal tenants – often those from low income families or migrants – by cramming them into tiny properties left in a state of disrepair.
In last night’s documentary, inspectors were called to the property after a string of noise and hygiene complaints from neighbours.
Startling revelations from inspectors found stacks of mattresses crammed into every room inside the semi-detached property in Harrow, north west London
When they arrive, they are met by a man who tells them that a staggering 15 people – mostly from overseas – are living in the semi.
Housing officer Ozge Albayrak says: ‘It’s the classic case, mattresses on top of each other, so they line them up, that’s how they fit so many people in.’
However, a truck stuffed with even more mattresses pulls up outside to provide for the thirty people who are discovered to be living in the house.
Ozge ventures into the garden, stating that this is where some people like to ‘hide’.
To her disbelief, she stumbles upon more dwellers sleeping on the grass who are presumably waiting for the haul of mattresses to arrive.
But there are still not enough beds for everyone and lack of sleeping space inside the modest home means that some occupants resort to sprawling out in the garden
On arrival, Housing officer Ozge Albayrak is met by a man who assures her that 15 people are living in the semi
After her eye-opening trip, she contacts the letting agent to inform them and within three months the conditions appear to have improved and only one family are living in the property.
But before long the tenancy spiralled back into disorder as more people moved back in, triggering another wave of complaints.
Ozge branded the conditions an ‘unacceptable way for people to live’ and said: ‘That could have turned really bad but the managing agent will get what they deserve.
‘They will be prosecuted and they will be punished for this.’
Three million new social homes must be built in England over 20 years to solve the housing crisis, according to housing charity Shelter.
Because there is not enough social housing, private landlords will now often provide rental properties.
The government has estimated that there are more than 10,000 rogue landlords operating across the UK.
In October last year new licensing rules came into force to protect tenants.
HMO licensing – which stands for houses in multiple occupation – already applied to landlords who rent their properties to five or more tenants from two or more different households where the property is three or more storeys.
But from 1 October last year, any property let to five or more tenants from two or more households are caught by the rules – regardless of the number of floors.
It means that 177,000 landlords across the UK now have to meet new minimum standards on room size and safety or face fines up to £30,000 and even criminal prosecution.
It means rooms slept in by one adult will have to be no smaller than 70 square foot (6.5 square metres) and those slept in by two adults 110 square foot (10.2 square metres)
Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to be no smaller than 50sq ft (4.6 square metres).
The move was part of a wider Government effort to crack down on poor living conditions, overcrowding and tackle slum landlords.