A rogue landlord operating has been slapped with fines over £5,000 for an overcrowded and unsafe property which put ‘lives at risk’.

Paul Moss, of Dunwich Court, Glanford Way, Romford, was operating a house in multiple occupation (HMO) without a licence.

Council enforcement officers were tipped off about the house in Redbridge.

On inspection they found ‘tenants lives to be at risk’, the council said.

The property had virtually no fire safety measures in place to protect tenants including smoke alarms or fire blankets in the kitchen.

Moss also failed to provide the tenants with enough bins to dispose of their rubbish properly.

He pleaded guilty to all charges at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Friday, October 11.

He was hit with fines of £3,860 and ordered to pay costs of £1,790. A victim surcharge of £ 120 was also imposed.

Cllr Farah Hussain, cabinet member for housing and homelessness, said: “It’s completely unacceptable that people should be living in unsafe and illegal conditions just so that landlords like the one in this case can line their pocket.

“I am pleased to see the rising number of prosecutions against rogue operators as we continue with our zero-tolerance approach to landlords of this type.

“Our message is clear, we will continue to crack down on all suspected HMO’s and unlicensed properties to root out illegal operators in the borough.”

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