Landlord fined £6,000 for overcrowded ex-Tower Hamlets ‘fire hazard’ flat

Sheffield Square off Malmesbury Road, Bow. Picture: Google

Sheffield Square off Malmesbury Road, Bow. Picture: Google - Credit: Google

A landlord who dangerously packed 16 people including children into a three-bedroom ex-council flat in east London without fire protection has been fined more than £6,000.

Overcrowded... beds packed side by side in one room at the flat in Sheffield Square, Bow. Picrture:

Overcrowded... beds packed side by side in one room at the flat in Sheffield Square, Bow. Picrture: LBTH - Credit: LBTH

Three families of four people, one family of three and a single man were packed into the cramped former Tower Hamlets council property on the Sheffield Square estate off Malmesbury Road in Bow, which had structural alterations carried out to fit them in.

Council environmental health officers found seven children in the flat with no fire precautions installed. There were no fire doors to the bedrooms and kitchen and no fire detection system, Thames magistrates heard.

Nazrul Bhuiyan was fined £4,750 and ordered to pay £1,430 costs after admitting five summonses under the 2004 Housing Act.

Each family occupied one room and all shared a single bathroom, kitchen and toilet, the court was told.

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Two of the family lettings barely contained enough room for a bed, leaving little space for the children to play.

Conversion works Bhuiyan had carried were designed to maximise the rental income, prosecutors maintained.

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Tower Hamlets Deputy Mayor Sirajul Islam said after the hearing: “Bad landlords who exploit tenants and expose them to danger can expect action from the council. We will prosecute if we discover laws to protect tenants are being flouted.”

The local authority runs a rental licensing register for multiple-occupation properties in Bethnal Green, Spitalfields and Whitechapel, eventually to be extended, to improve rented accommodation and help tenants get a fair deal through the Renter’s Charter.

Bhuiyan, from Robinia Close in Ilford, who owns the lease on the flat, faced five summonses under the Housing Act for failing to comply with the 2006 Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations.

These breaches included failing to protect occupiers against fire hazards and failing to provide adequate means of escape or an adequate fire or smoke detection system.

There were no fire-resistant doors to bedrooms or the kitchen, or a fire-resistant partition separating two of the lettings. He was also prosecuted for allowing too many people to occupy the property.

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