A big clampdown on unlicensed landlords has seen council officers knocking on the doors of 10 terraced houses well before dawn on Wednesday morning.

Officers from Slough Borough Council converged on the 10 homes simultaneously in Alexandra Road, Chalvey at 5am to examine the living conditions

The majority had problems with gas or electric supplies. Two were found to be undeclared houses in multiple occupation, another had issues with the design of the kitchen in an enclosed space and another was deemed unsafe to live in with emergency work needed the same morning.

Ian Blake, the council's resilience and enforcement manager, said: “The focus of this operation was the safety of the tenants living in these properties.

“Without a landlord licence there is no guarantee a home is safe and as we have found this morning, there could be multiple problems meaning tenants in this case including children are being put at risk.

“The landlord of these houses has not been fulfilling his duty to his tenants and now could be taken to court and substantially fined.”

He said: “Landlords who think they can get away without a licence and house tenants in substandard properties should beware; it could be their doors we are knocking on next.”

All the terraced homes were owned by the same people who have not obtained a Landlord Licence which they are required to do since new legislation came into affect last June.

Neighbouring homes will be informed of the inspections and encouraged to talk to officers if they have any concerns.

If any tenant in a rented property in Slough is concerned their home doesn’t have a landlord licence they should contact the housing regulation team on 01753 475111 option 3 or email privatesectorhousing1@slough.gov.uk

Wednesday's operation was supported by Thames Valley Police.

*Tenants whose landlord does not have a licence are legally entitled to claim back any rent paid from June 1 2019 until the licence is granted.

Licences can be applied for on http://www.slough.gov.uk/business/licences-and-permits/property-licensing.aspx.