A dawn raid found sixteen people crammed into a two bedroom flat above a shop – three times the number of tenants permitted.
And the ‘landlord’ was pocketing around £3,200 a month in rent.
Enforcement officers from London’s Brent Council entered the property with police.
Mattresses, bunkbeds and sofa beds had been packed together in the two bedrooms and living room space within the poorly ventilated flat.
Fire escapes had been blocked while a smoke alarm was found hanging off the ceiling.
One occupant told enforcement officers that he was paying £50 a week for a bed space.
By Brent council’s calculations, if each of the 16 tenants paid the same amount, the landlord may have been pocketing around £3,200 a month.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Brent Council cabinet member for Housing and Welfare Reform, described conditions at the flat as “Dickensian”.