29 October 2018
London Fire Brigade described fire safety breaches at a five-storey apartment block in central Croydon as “10 out of 10” in seriousness.
The serious fire issues included a locked fire escape, poor ventilation and defective fire doors. All of these have now been resolved.
First-Tier Tribunal Property Chamber Judge Sonya O’Sullivan stated that the issues caused "serious harm or potential harm to the tenants in failure to license.”
“We agree that there had been a wholesale failure to license as many as 36 flats out of a total 52 [which] is a relevant factor to be weighed against the Applicants.”
The two private property companies responsible for the flats on Sydenham Road were fined £32,000 by Croydon Council for failing to follow the council's landlord licensing scheme.
The fines were reduced by £6000 on appeal from the companies.
The unlicensed flats were discovered by Croydon Council after being alerted by the London Fire Brigade.
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services, said: “Private landlords have a duty to keep all their tenants safe, and the council’s landlord licensing scheme makes sure they do.
“This landlord knew they had to license all their rented properties but failed to meet this responsibility until council officers took action. Most Croydon landlords do the right thing, and this case shows that any landlord who does flout the rules risks a hefty fine.”