Couple in the dock over ‘one of the most serious cases’ of safety breaches
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04 May 2016
A couple who owned a four storey building in Rugby consisting of a bar and rented accommodation have been fined after admitting to numerous safety offences at the property, reports The Rugby Advertiser.
Dean Dunkley and Ilze Dauksta were both charged following a joint investigation of AJ’s Bar by Rugby Borough Council’s housing enforcement team and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service.
A complaint from a member of the public in July 2015 promoted the council to carry out an inspection of the building under a warrant, where a number of fire safety breaches were found.
The fire alarm was broken, escape routes were blocked, large holes were found in ceilings and floorboards were missing.
Fire doors throughout the property were also in poor condition, with one missing completely and another off its hinges and propped up in the frame of the doorway.
The couple were served with numerous enforcement notices detailing the improvements, but further inspections found a number of fire safety issues remained unresolved.
Dunkley, who had responsibility for the day-to-day running of the property, was charged with 25 offences under the Housing Act 2004.
Dauksta, as sole director of AJ’s Bar (Rugby) Limited, was charged with 24 offences.
AJ’s Bar (Rugby) Limited, registered to the couple’s address, was charged with 25 housing safety offences.
After pleading guilty, Dunkley was fined a total of £4,800 and ordered to pay £3,404 costs and a £30 victim surcharge, whilst Dauksta was fined a total of £4,650 and also ordered to pay £3,404 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
AJ’s Bar (Rugby) Limited was fined a total of £5,080.
Speaking after the hearing, Sean Lawson, Rugby Borough Council’s head of environmental services, said: “This was one of the most serious cases our housing enforcement team has dealt with in recent years, with the lives of many tenants needlessly put at risk due to a flagrant disregard for fire safety.
“We’re happy to help landlords in Rugby understand the legislation and meet the necessary safety standards for HMOs, and the majority of landlords do work with us.
“However, landlords who decided to ignore our advice and flout the law must understand we have a duty to investigate and, when necessary, prosecute.”
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