Couple have till May to tear down 'beds in sheds' after Hayes raid

Raid scene: the property at 179 Coldharbour Lane

Raid scene: the property at 179 Coldharbour Lane

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A COUPLE from Hayes have been ordered by a tribunal to demolish two outbuildings they rented out as ‘beds in sheds’ following action taken by Hillingdon Council.

Rajwant Singh and Gurbax Kaur were renting out 179 Coldharbour Lane to more than seven people without licensing the property as a house of multiple occupation (HMO) and leasing two illegal outbuildings in the garden as accommodation.

Hillingdon became one of the first local authorities in London to use powers under the Housing Act 2004 to serve demolition orders on the two outbuildings in October.

Singh and Kaur, of Coldharbour Lane, challenged the orders at HM Courts and Tribunal Service Resident Property Tribunal but, after considering all the evidence, it supported the council and confirmed that demolition was the right course of action.

Singh and Kaur now have until May to demolish the outbuildings.

If they fail to do this, Hillingdon will take direct action to remove them and charge the couple for the cost, as well as considering further prosecutions.

Councillor Keith Burrows, cabinet member for planning, transportation and recycling, said: “The support of the tribunal demonstrates that our uncompromising approach to tackling ‘beds in sheds’ is effective.

"I hope our success in this case sends a strong message to other rogue landlords operating in our borough.”

Singh and Kaur were told by Hillingdon in 2009 they were not allowed to rent out two outbuildings, a wooden shed and brick structure, to people looking for somewhere to live.

However a dawn raid by enforcement teams in August last year found they had not followed the rules.

During the raid, officers discovered the outbuildings had been poorly converted to accommodate people.

Cold, mouldy and with faulty gas and electric supplies, the wooden shed and brick structure did not meet the minimum standards for human habitation.

Residents who suspect someone of breaching planning or housing regulations should let the council know on 01895 250230.

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