Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court recently fined a landlord for breaches of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (‘the Order’)

Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.

The Circumstances | Kangs Fire Safety Solicitors

  • In March 2019, local Housing Enforcement Officers discovered there were unrelated tenants occupying a flat above a commercial property and that the appropriate Houses in Multiple Occupation (‘HMO’) licence had not been applied for.
  • Substantial breaches of the Order were identified in that: 
    • the shared communal areas were in an extremely poor state,  
    • fire alarms and fire exits were inadequate or missing, and    
    • the safety of the tenants was clearly ignored and their lives put at serious risk.

The Order | Kangs Regulatory Law Defence Solicitors

General Overview

  • The purpose of the Order is to simplify, rationalise and consolidate UK fire legislation and to shift the emphasis of fire prevention and the reduction of risk to employers/businesses from the fire authorities.
  • Prior to the Order, UK fire safety was covered by about seventy pieces of different legislation.
  • From the 1st October 2005, Fire Certificates are no longer issued and businesses have to carry out their own fire risk assessments.

Categories of Premises Affected By The Order

  • Offices and retail premises
  • Factories and warehouse storage premises
  • All premises where the main use is to provide sleeping accommodation e.g. hotels, guest houses B&Bs, holiday accommodation and the common areas of flats and maisonettes. (Single private dwellings are excluded).
  • Residential care premises
  • Educational premises
  • Small and medium places of assembly
  • Large places of assembly
  • Theatres, cinemas and similar premises
  • Open air events and venues
  • Healthcare premises
  • Transport premises and facilities
  • Animal premises and stables
  • Means of escape for disabled people

The Hearing | Kangs Regulatory Advisory Solicitors

The following sentence was handed down to the landlord in respect of the breaches:

  • Fined £2,694
  • Ordered to pay Prosecution Costs in the sum of £1,994
  • Court Charge payable in the sum of £170

Director of Community and Housing, Hannah Doody, was quoted and said:

 “This is another great result and I hope our success in securing prosecutions, leading to hefty fines will serve as warning to any rogue landlords who breach the regulations for HMOs in Merton.

“We take extremely seriously the failure of landlords to licence a HMO, and will not hesitate to take stringent action, as the licensing regulations are there to protect the lives of residents.

“We will not tolerate rogue landlords who seek to profiteer from cramming as many tenants as possible into properties with inadequate or dangerous conditions.

“We are on a mission to drive up standards for private accommodation across Merton and so we will be continuing to crack down heavily on landlords who flout the laws.

“We have many good landlords in Merton who are providing decent living conditions for renters. But we are urging anyone who suspects a landlord of not adhering to the rules to report this to us and will investigate.”

How Can We Help? | Kangs Health and Safety & Fire Safety Solicitors

Kangs Solicitors has a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with all matters of Health and Safety law.

Our specialist solicitors are able to provide advice and assistance throughout the entire criminal process, from the initial intervention by the relevant body through to enforcement, interview under caution and ultimately the defence of any ensuing criminal prosecution.

We have particular expertise and success in defending serious allegations such as manslaughter arising from breaches of Fire Safety Regulations.

The Courts are not afraid to impose severe penalties in recognition of the seriousness of individuals and companies flouting Fire Safety Regulations.

Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors

Please feel free to contact our team through any of the solicitors named below who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.

Hamraj Kang
hkang@kangssolicitors.co.uk
07976 258171 | 020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

John Veale
jveale@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396

Amandeep Murria
amurria@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396