EALING Council has been given a quarter a million from the government to tackle the problem of 'beds in sheds'.
The borough is one of only four councils in the capital which have been given funding to help tackle rogue landlords who illegally rent outhouses across the borough.
Ealing will get £270,919, the largest amount of any London borough, and will use it along with £250,000 it has already set aside to fund a dedicated team that works exclusively on dealing with illegal outhouses and unlicensed houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) in the borough.
Officers have already inspected more than 3,000 homes and issued 224 planning warnings, 84 contravention notices and 31 Housing Act notices. The council has also ordered four landlords to demolish their illegal buildings. If they do not do it within a year, the council has the power to do it itself.
Councillor Julian Bell , leader of Ealing Council said: "In the past 18-months I have accompanied several government ministers on raids in Southall where we saw people living in squalid, cramped conditions. I have used each of these visits as an opportunity to ask for more money and greater powers to deal with this issue.
"I am pleased that our outhouse team, which is now being mirrored by other London boroughs, will be fully funded for a further year. My fear is that the dire shortage of private sector housing, high rents and changes to benefits is likely to create a ‘perfect storm’ where more and more people will be pushed into unsuitable housing at the mercy of unscrupulous landlords."
The council said anyone who is concerned about an outbuilding to contact its enforcement team at email@example.com or call 020 8825 8786. All calls will be confidential.