Latest Prosecutions - August 2016

1st August 2016

We bring these latest fire prosecutions to you to act as a reminder and warning about the responsibilities and legal obligations of business owners to undertake regular fire risk assessments.

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Case 1:Three landlords fined £11,000 plus costs

Three landlords in Oxford have been convicted of a range of housing and safety offences, after inspections carried out earlier this year by environmental officers from Oxford City Council discovered the failings.

Mr Abdul Saleem Chaudhry was prosecuted after officers found three restaurant staff living on the third floor his Shezan restaurant. He pleaded guilty and received fines totalling £4,000 and was ordered to pay surcharges and council costs of £1,436.

Council officers found he had breached fire and safety conditions of his HMO licence. He received a fine of £2,000 and was ordered to pay surcharges and council costs of £1,375.

And finally, Mrs Deborah May Humes was prosecuted after a council officer visited the rented house she owned.They found three unrelated tenants in the unlicensed rental house and fire offences including a lack of two working smoke alarms and no fire door to the kitchen.

Mrs Humes pleaded guilty by letter to managing an unlicensed HMO and two breaches of the HMO management regulations. She received fines totalling £5,000 and was ordered to pay surcharges and council costs of £1,238.

Source: FIA

Case 2: £19,000 fine for landlord

A landlord from Luton has been handed fines totalling nearly £19,000 for owning four unlicensed homes and neglecting fire safety rules.

Owner Mr Tamas Katona admitted the offences at court after a joint prosecution from the local council and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Inspectors found that the four properties failed to meet certain standards in relation to disrepair and that they had inadequate protection for residents in the event of the outbreak of a fire.

Source: FIA

Case 3: Landlord fined for putting tenants at risk

A landlord in Folkestone, Kent, has been slapped with a £5,000 fine after being found to have provided accommodation to a young family without means of escape in an emergency.

The Folkestone Herald reports that Mr Jack Kensell was found guilty of putting his tenants at risk of harm in connection with a flat he owns.

The one bedroom ground floor flat includes a large storage area in the basement, which Mr Kensell was banned from using as living accommodation because of the lack of an emergency escape.

Mr Kensell received a £5,000 fine and was ordered to pay £4,111.04 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

Source: FIA

Case 4. Landlord fined £20,000 for cramming 28 tenants into house

A landlord from Stoke Newington, London, has been ordered to pay a £20,000 fine after cramming 28 tenants into just seven rooms, without the appropriate fire safety precautions.

Hackney Council investigators and police discovered the conditions at the terraced house, made up of two storeys and an attic, after a dawn raid in October last year.

They found that the property had no fire alarm, as well as inadequate conditions and no HMO licence, prompting the prosecution of owner Mr Alfred Landau. Mr Landau pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a £20,000 fine plus a further £1,845 in costs.

Source: FIA

Ensure your company meets its legal requirements with relevant fire training from Vulcan including fire extinguisher and awareness, fire warden and fire risk assessment.