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Pub Landlord Sentenced to 17 Weeks in Prison

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Pub Landlord receives prison sentence for fire safety breaches

Pub landlord, Tony Stearman of The Poachers Inn, Ide, has been sentenced to 17 weeks in prison (suspended for 18 months) after failing to ensure his pub met fire safety standards.

He pleaded guilty to five offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at Exeter Magistrates on Tuesday 2 April 2019.

Mr Stearman was also ordered to pay £5,000 in costs to Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service (DSFRS) and a victim surcharge of £115.

Officers from DSFRS carried out an inspection and discovered that Tony Stearman failed to implement the recommendations of a fire risk assessment.

The offences related to a number of failures in the fire safety standards identified by officers of DSFRS in 2017 including:

  • The fire detection and warning system fell far short of the standard expected in a premises providing guest accommodation
  • The escape route from the guest accommodation was not adequately protected by fire resisting construction and discharged directly into the bar area
  • A linen cupboard which also housed an electrically powered immersion heater was located in the escape route.

When asked why he had not acted upon the recommendations from the risk assessor he stated he had treated it as things that he “ought to do” as opposed to things “he had to do.”

Business Safety Manager Rod Schneider said: “Mr Stearman understood the need for a Fire Risk Assessment, yet failed to comply with the requirements of the Fire Safety Order by ignoring advice from those he had appointed to assist.  He was well aware of his fire safety responsibilities and the need to ensure people visiting and staying at the premises were safe yet put lives at risk by prioritising profit over safety.”

Mr Schneider added: “The majority of businesses in Devon and Somerset take their responsibilities seriously.  However, those that decide to place people at unnecessary risk will be subject to appropriate enforcement action by DSFRS.”

DSFRS Business Safety Officers will always work with and support those businesses that take their fire safety responsibilities seriously but will not tolerate those that fail to carry out their duties.

Our Fire Risk Assessors are NEBOSH trained and available for any advice or guidance.  Click here for more information.

Original Source:

Devon & Somerset Fire

landlord fined £50,000

Landlord Heavily Fined

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A Landlord of a property in Wembley, north London, who illegally sublet an unlicensed and poorly-maintained bungalow, described by Brent Council as a ‘death trap’ for the cramped conditions, has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £6,520 in court costs.

Willesden Magistrates Court found Petru Dregan guilty of breaking housing management regulations and neglecting to protect the safety of tenants from whom he was taking money.

The council’s licensing enforcement team raided the property and reported smoke alarms which had been covered up, blocked windows and doors, as well as damp and mould-caked walls.

The raid on the unlicensed HMO was shown on the Channel 5 programme Bad Tenants, Rogue Landlords which revealed the appalling conditions inside the property.

Mattresses littered the floors of the living room, dining room and even the pantry.  Makeshift bunkbeds made out of wood offcuts, pallets and tarpaulins, enabled 10 men to share one bedroom originally designed for two people.

One of the occupants of the bungalow told enforcement officers that he was paying the landlord £50 a week to live there.

Councillor Eleanor Southwood, lead member for Housing and Welfare Reform at Brent Council, said: “The court’s decision is a positive result for renters in Brent who have a right to safe and decent living conditions.

“In a poorly managed property like this one, people’s lives are at stake. Landlord’s, agents and sub-letters who ignore licensing laws and the regulations around housing management will be hit hard with heavy fines.”

Selective licensing in Brent has been extended to all privately-rented properties in key parts of the borough.

From 1 October government changes will require any property rented out to five or more unrelated people to be issued with a mandatory HMO licence.

Original Source

Landlord Today

Property Industry Eye

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