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Stop notices issued after 19 illegal 'shoe box' flats uncovered in former hostel

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Stop notices issued after 19 illegal 'shoe box' flats uncovered in former hostel

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Legal, Local Government

19 illegal 'shoe box flats uncovered in former hostel 19 illegal 'shoe box flats uncovered in former hostel

A London local authority has uncovered 19 tiny illegally built flats in a single building.

Islington Council's officers were no doubt astonished when they made the discovery on Holloway road - and have now slapped orders on the miniscule dwellings to stop them being rented out.

The former hostel was converted without planning permission, with the tiny apartments falling well short of the council's minimum space standards.

The illegal enterprise was discovered as part of a programme to survey the quality of private rental sector homes in the borough.

The council made six prohibition notices in June on tiny flats in Kember Street, after one was advertised for rent.

Further investigations are being carried out at the building in Holloway Road, including a probe into apparent breaches of fire safety regulations.

Some of the tiny flats also have shower pods inside the single studio bed/living room, further reducing the useable floor space.

According to the council, some of the tenants currently in the illegal flats were apparently housed through a homelessness organisation, the Fresh Start Housing Charity. We were unable to reach the charity for comment earlier.

Cllr James Murray (pictured), the council's executive member for housing and development, said: "These 'shoebox flats' are not fit for tenants - they are well below our minimum size standards.

"There's a housing crisis in London and so a lot of people are desperate to find anywhere to live. But we have to draw a line and stop people being exploited, so we've stopped these flats being rented out again.

"Everyone deserves a decent place to live and desperate people should not be crammed into tiny flats."

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