It sounds like the name of something to do with a children’s game, but the “bed in a shed” was no laughing matter to the Southend Council in Essex, England. According to The Daily Mail, landlord Syed Junid Ul Hassan Shah, of Westcliff, Essex, was fined almost £6,000 for renting dangerous “housing” to tenants.
Shad had previously received numerous warnings from the Southend Council after they had gotten complaints about his renting practices beginning around July of 2014. Among the charges against him were renting a place with inadequate fire detection, a bedroom with no natural lighting, and even renting a garden shed with a mattress on the ground, or “bed in a shed.”
“There is simply no excuse for this sort of behavior and I am delighted that this landlord has been brought to book,” said David Norman, Essex councilor in charge of housing. “No one should be living in conditions like this, where there is little if any regard for safety or the welfare of tenants.”
After Shah failed to do anything about the orders to improve conditions and properly license his outbuilding shed, which is still unclear just how many people he had living there, he was found guilty of failing to comply with three prohibition orders and failing to license the residence as a multiple occupation home.
Shah is also suspected of taking advantage of poor or immigrant workers with this substandard housing.
Shah claimed that he had repairs and maintenance done to fix the conditions in the house and outdoor shed in November of last year, but upon later inspection very minimal work was seen to have been done. After being slapped with multiple smaller fines of a couple hundred pounds each, the planners finally had enough and made the penalty more severe.
For people like Norman, the use of a garden shed, which generally lasts between 15 and 20 years, with a mattress on the floor did not constitute anything close to what proper renting quarters should look like.
“I am very concerned to see ‘beds in a shed’, and would urge anyone that is aware of any similar practices to report them to Planning Enforcement immediately,” Norman said.