The house of horrors returns...And so does Newham council's environmental health team

25 November 2016 in 2012 Games and legacy and Environment and Health
A privately rented Newham house dubbed ‘ the house of horrors’ in March, for its squalid slum conditions, has been raided by Newham Council for a second time.
Officers from the council’s private rented sector (PRS) licensing team, supported by the borough’s own police Enforcement Partnership Team, swooped on the address in Manor Park this week, after being tipped off that the condemned home was being occupied again.

In March the council issued a prohibition order on the landlord, after finding a young family with children living in the property with missing walls, missing windows, a bath fitted into a make-shift kitchen, and a single toilet in the filthy and dangerous back yard. Other low-lights included chronic damp, electrical wiring hanging from walls, and a rotten stair case and floor boards.

The order meant the landlord, who is being prosecuted by the council over the horrific conditions, was banned from re-letting the property to anyone, until a complete renovation was completed.

However, when officers re-visited this week, they found a young man living in the exact same squalor.

Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, said: “Yet again this despicable landlord is renting out his ‘house of horrors’ and once again our enforcement team has closed him down.

“It just goes to show that here in Newham we will not allow anyone  to be housed in slums. Those that exploit the most vulnerable, who are suffering the worst effects of the housing crisis, will not be allowed to prosper in this borough.

“We are sending out a message, loud and clear, we will continue to hit the rogues  again and again until they pack up their slums and move away.”

The PRS team, who police and enforce the council’s unique borough wide licensing scheme, were joined on the raid by former Housing Minister, and MP for Don Valley, Doncaster, Caroline Flint. She was in Newham on a fact finding visit.

She tweeted: “I'm out with Newham Housing Team raiding properties where landlords suspected of breaking law. I want Doncaster to extend it's landlord selective licensing scheme. Newham operates borough wide so I went to see it in action. If Housing Minister Gavin Barwell came to see how Newham tackle bad landlords, I can't believe he wouldn't back it continuing.”

The council is currently holding a consultation with residents and landlords on plans to introduce a new licensing scheme to replace the current scheme which comes to an end next year. Following the consultation the council will make a representation to the Housing Minister Gavin Barwell for a final decision.