A raid in Brent has led to the discovery of 16 men living "mattress to mattress" in a one bedroom home.

The council said the conditions were "grossly overcrowded" and amounted to a "firetrap".

Police and enforcement licensing officers found the tenants crammed into a one bedroom flat above a commercial premises in the Burnt Oak area, after entering the property before 6am on Thursday July 20.

Neighbours had reported a number of people hanging outside the flat before the raid happened.

The tenants, who were sleeping seven, five and four to each room of the flat, were found to be sleeping on bunkbeds made out of bits of wooden pallets while some of them claimed not to have had any contact with the landlord.

Bunk beds were made out of wooden pallets

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An investigation is ongoing to find the landlord of the unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

Spencer Randolph, head of housing services at Brent Council, said: "These tenants are being exploited and forced to live in appalling conditions by a landlord who has no regard for their safety.

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Officers raided the flat at 6am on Thursday July 20

"They are living in a fire trap that is uninhabitable, grossly overcrowded and insanitary.

"People renting in the private sector in Brent are entitled to live in homes that are safe and well-managed."

Cllr Harbi Farah, cabinet member for housing and welfare reform, said: "It is not acceptable for residents to live in such sub-standard conditions.

"Safety measures in the home should be a priority for letting agencies and landlords.

"A HMO licence helps protect tenants against rogue landlords and reduces antisocial behaviour in residential areas."

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