Only 22 “Beds in Sheds” cases reported to Havering Council in 2013

13:12 06 February 2014

The issue of people living illegally in outbuildings or sheds has been an endemic one for many London borough councils in recent years – but not in Havering, it has emerged.

A freedom of information request shows in 2013 the council received just 22 complaints regarding so-called “Beds in Sheds” – only nine were later confirmed as unauthorised.

Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for housing, feels Havering’s distance from central London dissuades people from living illegally in the borough.

She said: “We do not have the issue with immigration that maybe inner London has. “If people are going to live here [illegally] and travel into London to work they are going to be priced out.”

The illegal structures, some dangerous and cramped, are offered by landlords - often to Britain’s illegal migrants.

Redbridge Council reported early last month it had discovered 118 people living in illegal outbuildings since April 2013.

Since last April, Redbridge Council has successfully prosecuted seven private landlords for housing offences.

The landlords were fined a total of £79,100 and ordered to pay £6,853 costs.

Cllr Kelly sympathised with Havering’s neighbouring borough, and said the “high number” of cases was “wrong”.

She added: “My immediate reaction was we are very impressive in Havering – “Beds in Sheds” is just a minor problem.

“We do not get any central government budget to deal with “beds in sheds”.

“We have a section [at Havering Council] for people to check with complaints - I had one at the end of last year where a family had built quite a big shed and people were coming and going.

“People were suspicious but it just turned out they had a big family with loads of aunts and uncles.”

In 2013, four London boroughs - Redbridge, Newham, Hillingdon and Ealing - were given £800,000 to tackle the issue. Havering has not received any additional funding, according to Cllr Kelly.

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 18:00
Maria Rackley, who is organising a shoebox appeal to help disadvantaged children get Christmas presents.

Help make a child’s Christmas in the build up to the festive period by simply donating a shoebox.

Yesterday, 16:56
Planned roadworks will begin on Monday October 31.

A series of roadworks have been scheduled on the M25, A406 and M11.

Yesterday, 16:40
Spurs shirts and other memorabilia line the walls of the games room

An avid football fan who created a shrine to his beloved Tottenham Hotspurs is hoping to win a games room of the year competition.

Yesterday, 15:59
Time FM Steve Allen.

Listen to our weekly paper review podcast on Time 107.5FM with Steve Allen.

Yesterday, 15:00
Erin Macbeth, 12 and Freya Macbeth, seven, with their halloween masks at the Halloween family fun day at Havering Museum.

Little monsters got into the spirit of Halloween with a family fun day yesterday.

Yesterday, 14:52
Fern Gibson, three, with her bandaged duck in a box on her way to the woods at the children's rescuing wildlife workshop at Hornchurch Country Park.

Dozens of children treated wildlife animals in need of help.

Yesterday, 13:31
Queen's Hospital's A&E department

Calls are growing for a ground-breaking emergency care trial which drastically cut A&E waiting times to be rolled out across the capital.

Yesterday, 12:00
Romford Town centre gv's. Romford market

Market traders who have been in Romford for decades will be encouraged to give up their “prime spots” to make way for new stallholders.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.


£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now