14 August 2014

A Stafford landlord has been fined £4209 for endangering his tenants’ lives by breaking fire safety rules.

Raymond Manning pleaded guilty to eight offences relating to ensuring the house was safe and failure to comply with an improvement notice which was served in January 2014.

An inspection of the property, which has six tenants, revealed that there were no working smoke detectors, no fire door in the kitchen, the electrical sockets were overloaded and safety checks for a gas fire and boiler had not been carried out.

The council inspected the property after a tenant alerted them to repairs which had not been done.

Following the inspection, Mr Manning was served with an improvement notice which he failed to comply with.

Simon Turner, prosecuting for Stafford Borough Council, explained: “The charges relate to very serious hazards that threaten human life which were found on an inspection.

“The law is there to ensure safety of tenants in houses of multiple occupation.”

He added: “The kitchen has the highest risk and in this property it was required to have fire doors – because without them you increase the risk of death to any of the occupiers if there was to be a fire.”

Mr Manning was given a fine of £2240, ordered to pay costs of £1941 and a victim surcharge of £28.

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.