Families living in squalid garden sheds for £80 a week

Housing officers found families in the wooden huts in Salford

Credits: Manchester Evening News

Manchester Evening News

Vulnerable families are being charged £80 a week to live in squalid garden SHEDS.

Horrified housing officers found parents and children living inside cramped wooden huts which had been erected next to a semi-detached home in Salford.

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A family with two children and another couple were discovered in slum conditions following the raid on the Little Hulton home before Christmas.

Salford council say the families were being charged hundreds of pounds each month to live in the 'rooms', each less than 10m sq each, the Manchester Evening News reports .

Town hall bosses now have forced the owner of the house to demolish the structure, thought to be a converted garage or shed - and have helped the families find proper homes.

Council chiefs have vowed to crackdown on rogue landlords charging people to live in makeshift 'bedsits' following the grim discovery.

Suspicions were raised when a council worker who knew the street saw a fence marked '8A' next to the house.

When officers visited, they found the '8A' sign was for the makeshift housing.

The rooms were hidden behind a high garden fence, which had a letter box cut into it.

The so-called bedsits, which were built without planning permission, were in the back garden of the semi-detached home.

The families are believed to have moved into the huts after responding to internet adverts.

Salford housing chief Paul Longshaw said he was 'disgusted and furious' at the discovery.

He added: "The bedsits may have been converted from a garage or shed and were cramped, a fire risk and totally unsuitable for people to live in.

"They were being advertised for rent on an internet site as self-contained rooms at £80 per week.

"Taking advantage of people in this cruel way disgusts me. My heart really went out to the families.

Credits: Manchester Evening News

Manchester Evening News

"We do not expect landlords in our city to treat people in this fashion.

"If we become aware of this kind of dirty practice we will not hesitate to use the full force of our enforcement activity to quash it.

"People deserve decent housing and we will do all we can to make sure they get it."

It is understood the landlord will not face legal action.

Salford and Manchester council bosses were handed £60,000 apiece by the government last year to weed out 'beds in sheds'.

Both town halls have launched crackdowns on rogue landlords renting out tiny makeshift rooms, particularly focusing in dodgy flats above shops, which are often split in two.

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