June 19 2013 Latest news:
Melissa York, Reporter
Monday, February 11, 2013
More than 40 ‘sheds with beds’ have been targeted in Newham in just over a year.
Since September 2011, Newham Council have issued 42 enforcement notices to owners of slum properties, often the size of a standard wooden shed crammed into small gardens, set up by rogue private landlords taking advantage of people needing shelter in desperate situations.
Bad housing conditions on this scale are spread across pockets in the borough, but a concentration has been identified in East Ham, Green Street, and the Woodgrange Road area of Forest Gate, according to a council spokesperson.
Newham Council released an image of one shed in Kensington Avenue, East Ham, housing a single person, and before, after, and interior shots of another slum in Tower Hamlets Road, Forest Gate that was occupied until recently by a middle-aged man.
In both cases, enforcement notices were issued ordering them to take the illegal buildings down and the owners complied by dismantling them after being threatened with direct action.
This would have involved the council using their own contractors to take them down - which normally costs around £1,000 - and then sending the bill to the owner.
Newham Council are aiming to greatly increase this type of enforcement action in 2013 following their property licensing scheme coming into effect on January 1 in the country’s first effort to regulate all private landlords.
Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: “There are good landlords in Newham and we want to work with them. Unfortunately there are also some unscrupulous ones – and we are going after them vigorously and robustly.”