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Landlord couple admit housing offences after fatal east London flat fire

The fire-damaged flats in Shadwell (London Fire Brigade)
The fire-damaged flats in Shadwell (London Fire Brigade)

A husband and wife who rented out an overcrowded east London flat destroyed in a fatal fire have pleaded guilty to housing offences.

Mizanur Rahman, 41, died in hospital following the blaze at Maddocks House on Cornwall Street, Shadwell, in March.

He is thought to have been one of as many as 18 men living in the three-roomed flat.

Aminur Rahman and Sofina Begum will be sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on January 3.

Appearing at Thames Magistrates' Court, they admitted failing to supply a valid gas safety certificate and knowingly allowing overcrowding.

It comes after an inquest heard Mr Rahman, a father-of-two, died from smoke inhalation during the fire which was started by a faulty lithium ion e-bike battery that was charging at the time.

Residents at the east London flats had raised concerns about overcrowding several times and Tower Hamlets Council said it had acted upon previous complaints using the powers available to it.

A council spokesperson said: "We had visited this property previously following complaints and issued enforcement."

One survivor of the fire said he was sleeping in a top bunk in one of the rooms at the time the fire broke out.

He explained how he woke up to check his phone and when he looked down "it started exploding like a rocket, with white smoke and black smoke".

"And then I just shouted because everyone was asleep," he said.

Ms Begum, 50, and Aminur Rahman, 53, of Solander Gardens, Shadwell, were both granted unconditional bail until sentencing.