Two rogue landlords have been fined £3,000 plus costs, after being found guilty of running an unlicenced HMO where seven people were rescued from a fire.
Owner Wimalendran Jeyaruban and letting agent Chaudry Amir Ijaz did not register the Croydon property, which had five paying tenants at the time of the fire.
During a blaze at the flat earlier this year, seven people were led to safety by firefighters and five others were rescued from a neighbouring property.
A subsequent inspection by council housing enforcement officers found there were five people permanently living at the flat, all of whom paid £150 per month to Ijaz.
Jeyaruban had previously agreed to empty the unlicensed flat in 2012 after the council discovered it was being used as a HMO. However, he decided to ignore the council warnings and let it out to Ijaz, who in turn rented it as a HMO, despite having no HMO licence himself.
In addition to the fines, both were ordered to pay the court £2,500 in costs.
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.