LANDLORD ROY Roe was prosecuted for breaking a prohibition order over failing to provide ‘adequate’ fire safety measures in a flat conversion in Croydon.

Your Local Guardian reported on the prosecution of Mr Roe by Croydon Council over the flat conversion on the site of a former Barclays bank branch in Sanderstead, which was inspected in February 2019 by the council after the tenant contacted them with concerns over safety relating to ‘unsafe outdoor stairs with missing steps’.

On visiting the flat, which was in the basement, inspectors ‘found Category 1 hazards relating to fire safety, lighting and excess heat’, including ‘no fire escape route except through the kitchen’, a ‘lack of natural light’ due to there being no windows in the living room or bedroom, and ‘no natural ventilation’. As a consequence, the flat was deemed ‘unfit to live in’, with Mr Roe handed a prohibition order, but months later he was found to have been renting it out.

Mr Roe was convicted over the breaking of the prohibition order as well as a ‘failure to license’ the property, with the prosecution meaning he has now been added to the Mayor of London’s list of rogue landlords, while Croydon Council added that it would ‘lobby’ to have him added to a similar nationwide database as well.

Jane Avis, cabinet member for homes and gateway services, commented: ‘This flat wasn’t just an unsuitable place to live; it was an illegal and potentially lethal firetrap, so I’m glad the tenant flagged her concerns to us. We set up our selective licensing scheme in Croydon so private tenants could have safe and good-quality homes, and this prosecution underlines why we’ve asked government for permission to renew it.’