‘They have never found anybody living in the garage’: Estate agent dismisses ‘beds in sheds’ complaints as Redbridge Council investigates Hainault outbuilding

Redbridge Council is currently investigation 2 Staggart Green, in Hainault, amid reports it is one o

Redbridge Council is currently investigation 2 Staggart Green, in Hainault, amid reports it is one of many substandard and possibly illegal dwellings - known as "beds in sheets" - in the borough. - Credit: Archant

Redbridge Council is investigating a Hainault outbuilding following reports it could be being used as one of many sub-standard and possibly illegal dwellings – known as “beds in sheds” – in the borough.

But the estate agent that manages the property in Staggart Green insists that these reports are false.

A council spokeswoman confirmed that in the past three years the local authority has received multiple complaints from neighbours in relation to possible illegal renting out of the property.

Following “extensive” checks by enforcement officers in 2017, it was confirmed not to be a house of multiple occupation (HMO) and also had no “beds in sheds” issues, she said.

“We have received another complaint in relation to beds in sheds, which we will now look into,” she added.

“We are committed to taking the strongest possible enforcement action against anyone found to be illegally renting out a property and will do so against the owner of this property if a breach of planning regulations or property licensing is found.”

Separate to the investigation into the outbuilding, landlord Jaspal Talwar is also applying (ref:4722/18) for a house extension on the Staggart Green property to be granted a “certificate of lawfulness” for it be recognised as a “self-contained unit of accomodation”.

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It was built after planning permission for a two-storey side extension was approved in July 2012 (ref: 1109/12).

However planning documents reveal that it was “not constructed in accord with the approved drawings”.

Rather, it “was constructed as a totally self-contained unit with no connections into the host dwelling”.

Despite being unauthorised, as the application acknowledges, the building has been rented out as a self-contained home since March 2014 with between one and four people staying there at any one time.

The applicant claims it is now “lawful by the passage of time” and seeks Redbridge Council’s formal recognition that it is completely separate from the adjacent three-bed family home.

James Barron, planning director at estate agent Barron Edwards, responded to these allegations on behalf of Ms Talwar.

He said: “Certainly there are no beds and sheds.

“That has been investigated on quite a number of occasions and they have never found anybody living in the garage.”

He said this shed, at the foot of the garden, is simply used for storing tools.

Commenting on the housing extension, he added: “We accept that the extension was not built in accordance with planning permission. “It has been investigated by the local authority who know that fact but chose not to take any action.”

He added that, having been used for four years as a separate unit of accomodation, the dwelling is now lawful and they are applying for a certificate for it to be recognised as such.

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