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London Bridge brothel shut down by housing association

A one-bedroom flat in Snowsfields which was being used as a brothel, has recently been shut down by housing association Guinness South working with local police officers.

Police visited the flat at Guinness Court in April after they received a complaint about anti-social behaviour.

Officers found five Romanian women occupying the one-bedroom flat.

Their subsequent report to landlords Guinness South prompted a visit by tenancy investigation manager Daniel Helps and neighbourhood officer Eileen Sweeney.

"We visited the property several times but no-one answered the door, despite a number of males arriving at the block each time we were there," said Daniel Helps.

"On challenging the men, all refused to talk and left the area very quickly.

"On one occasion a woman did come out of the flat to ask what was going on but soon went back inside when I started questioning her.

"A notice to quit and notice seeking possession had been served on the tenant for not using the property as his principal home and soon after my visits, the occupants moved out.

"There was nothing to show that the flat was being used as someone's main home and we discovered the living room was being used as a second bedroom."

The property is now boarded up and court proceedings are underway to regain full possession.

Sergeant Chris Iliffe from Grange Safer Neighbourhood Team said: "Through working in partnership with Guinness South we recovered a property which was believed to be used as a brothel.

"We listened to the concerns of local residents and acted swiftly by serving a notice. Having served the notice further complaints were received that the activity in the flat was still taking place.

"Our continued partnership efforts resulted in the recovery of the property at Guinness Court, Snowsfields, SE1. This is a good example of multi-agency work with the MPS and Guinness South working together to deal with concerns raised by the residents."

Daniel Helps added: "We want to make it clear that Guinness South will not tolerate our homes being used fraudulently and illegally and will act to ensure that the correct people are living in our homes.

"It is important that we recover properties such as this so they can be let to people who are in real housing need. If a resident suspects that one of our properties is being sub-let, they should call our customer service centre on 03000 111 321."

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