A "bed in shed", eight people sharing one toilet and tenants found living in dilapidated homes is all in a night's work for Harrow Council's housing officers.
After receiving complaints of overcrowding, inspectors busted an Edgware home - finding there a garage "bed in shed" where the occupants were forced to cover cracks with duvets to keep warm.
The outhouse, in a garden filled with rat holes, was found with beds, piles of clothes and is believed to be used to illegally house cash-in-hand eastern European tenants - without a House of Multiple Occupancy license.
In their first trial of evening door knocks, enforcement officers visited 16 properties up and down the borough last Thursday (July 6).
Another property, in North Harrow, was raided after a police complaint which found tenants crammed into a house with a caving in ceiling, leaks, dodgy electrics and eight people sharing one toilet.
Officers check buildings for overcrowding, safety and licencing, with a view to pursuing and prosecuting landlords putting tenants lives at risk.
Shital Rajani, residential licensing enforcement officer, said: "It's not just about inspecting properties.
"First, we look for safety issues, such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide and heat detector monitors."
"We encourage landlords to have a mains wire interlinked smoke alarm, as some tenants remove the battery to smoke cigarettes.
Ms Rajani added: "Properties also need to have adequate electrics, a gas safety certificate and landlords are responsible for checking if any tenants have convictions. It all goes hand in hand."
Council officers visited properties in South Harrow, North Harrow, Wealdstone and Edgware where the same team busted a whopping 40 people were crammed into a squalid house - sharing just ONE toilet between them.
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