Latest Fire Prosecutions - October 2018

23rd October 2018

We bring you the latest fire prosecutions to remind about the importance of fire safety and also to warn you of the risks that can occur when it is breached.

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Our latest update of fire prosecutions sees a rogue agent and two letting agencies fined £60K for fire safety failings. 

Case 1

An agent and two residential letting companies have been fined £60,000 for managing a dangerous unlicensed house of multiple occupancy (HMO) in West Hampstead, London.

During an early morning raid at the property in 2017, Police and the London Fire Brigade found at least eight tenants in overcrowded and dangerous conditions as well as a series of fire and electrical safety issues.

Councillor Meric Apak, cabinet member of Better Homes at Camden Council said: “A large proportion of Camden’s residents rent privately and pay through the nose to do so. The very least they can expect in return is to live in a safe, accessible home with decent living space.

"We will always assist landlords that seek our advice but Camden Council’s commitment to residents is that we will take the strongest possible action against landlords and lettings agents not meeting standards and disregarding tenants’ rights.”

The three defendants (agent and two letting agencies) were also fined in 2017 for similar offences.

Case 2

A Cardiff based landlord has been fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to 12 fire safety failings at their rental property in Grangetown, Cardiff.

When the property was inspected by Cardiff Council, they found ‘horrifying’ conditions including unmaintained water and heating, front and back gardens filled with waste and an array of fire safety hazards.

The inspection noted that there was no protection to gas and both the electricity metres and fire alarms were defective with an image showing the ground floor smoke alarm ‘dangling from the ceiling with loose wires’.

In addition to these failings, there was also no fire escapes in the whole property with the kitchen being deemed ‘unsafe’.

Councillor Lynda Thorne, cabinet member for housing and communities at the City of Cardiff Council said: "This case is a clear example of a landlord renting out a property in a state which is completely unacceptable. The pictures of the property speak for themselves.

"I would like to make it clear to all the landlords that think they can rent out substandard properties that they need to think again. If these matters are reported to us, then we will investigate and the take necessary action in the best interests of the tenants."

These highlighted cases serve as a reminder of the legal responsibilities landlords and agents have in ensuring the safety of occupants in residential and commercial premises.

Here at Vulcan, we offer a range of fire training courses to help companies and individuals understand the importance of fire safety, fire risk assessments and plans.

Find out more about our courses here.