In the Dock – Landlord Jailed
A landlord has been sent to prison for 13 months following the death of their tenant in a fire.
The local authority and the police brought a prosecution for breaching health and safety regulations and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 after a fire broke out in the property.
The flat was in the basement of a converted property and was described to the court as being unsuitable for human habitation. This was because of the lack of fire detection systems in the building, the absence of smoke alarms and the layout of the flat.
There was only one entrance to the property (with an inadequate handle) and this opened directly into the kitchen. The door was partly blocked by the cooker which was also the cause of the fire.
Unable to escape quickly the tenant had injuries and burns that were compatible with having to lean over the cooker to escape. He later died of severe smoke inhalation.
This distressing case is a poignant reminder of the need to ensure that properties are fully compliant when let. This includes meeting obligations under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations and Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act. Risk Assessments should be carried out in line with the Housing Health and Safety Rating System Regulations and where the property is a flat, a Fire Risk Assessment of the building is now a mandatory requirement.
If you are a landlord and are in need of any help to ensure you are fully compliant, please get in in touch – 01749 672 678 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note the date this article was published as the law or the essence may have changed since it was posted. You should always seek independent legal advice if you are intending to rely on any of the contents.
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