A landlord has been fined for renting out a room that tenants had to crawl up stairs to reach.

The low ceiling above the staircase in Yaakov Maron’s home in Sunningfields Road, Hendon, made it impossible for tenants to reach the top floor standing up.

He was fined £3,040 after Barnet Borough Council’s environmental health team said the small entrance hatch was a fire risk.

It had been rented out to a couple for £420 a month.

Maron pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an order, served by the authority in February 2012, which banned the room from being rented out.

The head height along the course of the staircase was between 0.7m and 1.2m and the door to the room was of a smaller size.

Last year, Barnet Council investigated more than 970 reports of poor conditions in the borough.

Councillor Tom Davey, chairman of the housing committee, said: “At the very least tenants have the right to expect that the accommodation they are renting is safe.

“Barnet Council is keen to work with landlords and help them to provide safe accommodation.

“However, those who exploit tenants for financial gain will not be tolerated and the appropriate action will be taken.”

If you have tried to get your landlord to repair your property without success the council, or to report an empty property, email housingconditions@barnet.gov.uk or contact 0208 359 7995.