A letting agent was forced to fix up one of its properties after environmental officers came across severe damp and mould all over the walls and ceilings.

The team at Harrow Council also found that the two-bedroom home in Pinner suffered from unsecured windows and faulty doors.

The tenant, who had been living there for six months, said the “awful” conditions were affecting both her and her child’s mental health.

Cllr Graham Henson, responsible for the environment at Harrow Council, said: “Our job is to help tenants and landlords with their properties and take action against those flouting the rules and taking advantage.

“That’s what happened on this occasion. We weren’t taken by any of their excuses so we forced them to fix the property and what a huge difference it has made. We’ll do the same with anyone else operating like this.”

It emerged that the widespread damp and mould growth in the bathroom and kitchen had been caused by a water leak from a neighbouring property.

After the investigation, the agent took swift action and had the property repaired and, with the house now safe, the tenant was able to move back in.