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20 June 2016
A landlord ignored a prohibition notice and continued to let rooms at a property where there was no smoke alarms or safety lighting and inadequate means of escape.
Andrew Kennedy, who owns a terraced house of multiple occupation in Hawkshead Road, Penwortham, near Preston, continued to advertise and accept lettings despite being issued with the notice by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.
Local authority housing officers found that new tenants had moved in since the notice was issued in March 2015. They described Mr Kennedy’s actions as “a complete failure to prioritise the safety of potential tenants or to obey the lawful notice.”
The landlord pleaded guilty to five breaches of the Regulatory Reform Order 2005 when he appeared at Preston Crown Court.
A tenant raised concerns after being offered an unconverted attic room. Access was through a loft hatch and ladder and there were exposed wires.
Fire officers visited the property and found five people living at the house, including one in the dangerous attic space. They identified breaches of the fire safety regulations and concluded there was a “serious and imminent risk to life” and issued the prohibition notice, which was displayed on the door of the property.
Mr Kennedy is scheduled to be sentenced on 21 July. The Honorary Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown, told him: “This is a serious case involving a number of failures to comply.
“The court has the power to impose an immediate prison sentence.”