A pair of slum landlords have been fined thousands of pounds after tenants were found to be living in "uninhabitable conditions" in an overcrowded Erith home.

Mr Abul Azad and his wife, Ashrafi, must pay costs totalling more than £8,000 after being successfully prosecuted for violating a Notice of Over-Crowding and a Prohibition Order served on them for a home they rent out in Pembroke Road.

It was heard at Bexley Magistrates that when a fire broke out at the bungalow on September 24, 2016, a tenant was forced to jump from a first floor window to escape the fire but was uninjured.

The home was then reported to the council as a possible house of multiple occupation (HMO) by the London Fire Brigade.

A Notice of Over-Crowding had already been issued on the property on September 16 following an inspection in August, when the bungalow was found to be housing 17 beds, including both sides of the roof space.

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At the time Mr Azad was reminded that a maximum of eight people could occupy the house and was advised not to re-let the property without notifying the Council first.

Following the fire, council officers visited the property on September 30 and found four people living there, despite extensive damage caused by the fire, making the staircase unsafe and the house uninhabitable.

As a result, a Prohibition Order was served to prevent the property being used as living accommodation.

Mr Azad did not appeal the order and agreed that he would not re-let the property again until all necessary remedial works had been carried out.

Despite this, an unannounced visit made by council officers on April 12, 2017, found it occupied by nine people, allegedly from one family.

However, a woman living at the property was unable to name the other tenants and five of the family names were different.

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A further inspection was made on April 5, 2018, where officers found 15 bed spaces located in the house.

Three of these were in the living room and included a double mattress under the staircase.

The majority of works required by the Prohibition Order were found not to be completed, although the staircase had been replaced.

On February 18, 2019, Mr Azad was fined £1,660 for contravening the Over-Crowding Notice and £3,300 for breaching the Prohibition Order. He was ordered to pay £200 legal costs and £890.44 investigative costs. He has since also been ordered to pay a Victim Surcharge of £170.

On March 4, 2019, Mrs Azad, who did not attend court, was fined £1,000 for also breaking the Prohibition Order and ordered to pay £200 legal costs; £890.44 investigative costs and a victim surcharge of £100.

After the case, Councillor Peter Craske, Cabinet Member for Places said: "I am delighted with this successful prosecution. Bexley has no hesitation in prosecuting greedy landlords who have complete disregard for the health and safety of their tenants.

"They are very lucky that they weren't facing far more serious charges, which they would have been had anyone been killed or injured due to their total negligence."