12:59PM, Thursday 29 July 2021
Fire damage at the Wexham Road property
A landlord has been convicted after an investigation into a blaze at his Wexham property revealed he had crammed eight tenants inside.
Firefighters were called to the four-bedroom semi-detached house in Uxbridge Road in the early hours of October 8.
An electrical fire had broken out on the first floor, causing serious damage to a box room as well as other areas of the house.
Slough Borough Council’s housing regulation officers investigated after it was revealed that eight people were believed to be living at the property.
A combination of bedding, blankets, sleeping bags and suitcases were discovered across six rooms.
The investigation also revealed the house had no fire alarms, no fire doors and no safety certificate for the gas and electrical systems.
An investigation revealed the stairs to the attic had no handrail
The property was deemed a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) which was not registered with the council and the local authority issued an emergency prohibition order preventing anyone living there until the safety issues were rectified.
The council brought in the landlord licences in July 2019 to improve the quality of accommodation in the borough and making properties safer for tenants.
Landlord Nadeem Khan, of Warwick Avenue, appeared at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday, June 25 where he admitted five offences under the Housing Act 2004.
The 40-year-old told magistrates he had borrowed money to rectify all the issues and had taken on the property as an HMO and was unable to evict non-paying tenants due to coronavirus regulations.
He was fined £900 and ordered to pay £3,090 costs by the court.
Councillor Balvinder Bains, cabinet member for regulation and public protection, said: “This could have had a very different outcome. A fire in the middle of the night with no fire alarms could have resulted in much more serious consequences.
“The reason there are landlord licences is to raise the quality of privately rented homes so tenants are in a compliant environment.”