A tenant pretending to be a landlord who turned a flat into dangerous, illegal bedsits has been fined £4,000.

Nusret Tekinalp, of Electric Parade in George Lane, South Woodford, converted two bedrooms in a flat into bedsits and advertised them to let online.

Council enforcement officers discovered the conversion and found Mr Tekinalp was operating the house of multiple occupancy (HMO) without a licence.

During a joint investigation with the London Fire Brigade, the unlicensed bedsits were found to be a potential death trap as virtually no fire safety measures were in place to protect tenants.

Cllr Farah Hussain, cabinet member for housing and homelessness, said: “It is appalling that Mr Tekinalp has prioritised financial profit above the safety of tenants and operating under the law.

“By selfishly pursuing his own profit, he has placed vulnerable people at risk of death by allowing them live in hazardous conditions.

“We are serious and determined about improving standards in the private rented sector and we will continue to knock on the door of all suspected HMOs and unlicensed properties to root out rogue operators and ensure they feel the full force of the law.”

Licensing is mandatory for all HMOs in Redbridge, as well as the 79 per cent of the private rental sector covered by the council’s selective licensing scheme.

Those who do not comply with licensing regulations face being prosecuted or fined up to £30,000.

Property owners or agents can apply for a licence on the council’s website.

The council has also signed up to the Mayor of London’s Rogue Landlords and Letting Agents Checker, a free online search tool that allows Londoners to check if a landlord or letting agent has been convicted of any housing offences.

The checker can be found here.