Landlord fined after blaze in rental property

A property management company described by the local authority as a landlord has been fined following a fire in an outbuilding that left two people in hospital.

Ace Management, of Kings Avenue, Winchmore Hill, London, was ordered to pay £12,000 after admitting renting out a house in Melfort Road, Thornton Heath, without being licensed to do so.

Two men had to be rescued by firefighters and taken to hospital after a fire in an outbuilding at the address on October 2 last year.

An investigation by Croydon Council found that while the property was not licensed to have more than one household living there, it was occupied by more than five unrelated tenants sharing cooking and bathing facilities.

It was also found not to have any fire precautions in place.

As well as the fine, Croydon magistrates ordered the company to pay court costs of £2,375.

A licence has since been issued for the property and fire precautions installed.

Cllr Dudley Mead, cabinet member for housing, said: “This case highlights the need for landlords to comply with licensing regulations and ensure that their properties are brought up to the required standard.

“It was fortunate that the fire did not spread to the main house and that firefighters were able to bring it under control in time.

“Tenants living in unlicensed properties are at risk of living in sub-standard, unsafe conditions, and the council will not hesitate to take action against landlords who break the law by failing to apply for a licence.”

A company called Ace Management Services, at Kings Avenue, Winchmore Hill, was the subject of a winding-up petition earlier this year.