Two rogue Greenwich landlords have been prosecuted for allowing tenants to live in ‘death trap’ houses.

Rafik Lunat let a five bedroomed Victorian house in Saunders Road, Plumstead.

Officers from the Rogue Landlord Team arranged a visit to the property in September 2014, but upon arrival found they could only access the communal areas so obtained a warrant of entry.

A further full inspection revealed bed-sit style accommodation with shared kitchen and bathroom in the two-bed flat.

The living room had been turned into a bedroom, so the tenant’s only means of escape was through the kitchen.

The fire risk in the flat, which included incorrectly fitted fire doors, forced the council to serve an Emergency Prohibition Order (EPO) to stop the landlord illegally renting out the dangerous bedroom.

Despite assurances it would not be used, an unannounced visit showed it was still being used as a bedroom.

The landlord had even taken down a wall to make the room larger.


The second rogue landlord was Zhiyong Wu, who let a two-storey house in Eltham Palace Road, Eltham, to five separate households.

Officers found no fire alarms, no fire doors or fire-fighting equipment such as an extinguisher.

Wu was served an Improvement Notice to install safety measures such as a fire blanket and fire alarm in April 2014

Despite being given until December that year to install changes, Wu had not done so.

Both were sentenced at Bexley Magistrates on Monday (July 27).

Lunat was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs and a victim surcharge of £200.

Wu was given 14 days to pay £3,000 and costs of £590 and a victim surcharge of £300.

London Fire Brigade’s borough commander for Greenwich, Matt Herrington, said: “Inadequate fire detection, poor means of escape and badly fitted fire doors meant that both of these premises were potential death traps.”

UPDATE: After the hearing at Bexley Magistrates' Court on July 27th where the case was proved in Mr Lunat's absence, he applied to the courts to have the case reopened.

It was reopened on September 14th, and adjourned until November 25.

The original case of failure to comply prohibiton order was dismissed, along with the fines, as no evidence was offered by the council.