11 August 2014

Sheffield Council has successfully prosecuted a landlord and letting agency for  over-letting an unsafe property.

At least ten people were sharing the house on Granville Road.

Aside from the overcrowding, council safety inspectors found a blocked fire escape and the property’s fire doors were either badly fitted or totally missing.

Ghulam Ljaz was fined £1000 and ordered to pay £1073 costs. UK Legal Estates Ltd was fined £2000 by Sheffield Magistrates.

Speaking after the prosecution, Councillor Harry Harpham, Cabinet Member for Housing, told local newspaper, The Star: “We want to send a clear message that if you are a private landlord or agent in our city, you must take your responsibilities seriously.”

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.