Numerous dangerous fire practices found

01 November 2016

A landlord who ‘put his friends lives at risk’ has been handed fines totalling £7,000 after a number of fire safety issues were found at his property.

The property in Swindon, belonging to landlord Jose Francisco De Sousa, was visited by Environmental Health officers from the local council last year after receiving a complaint about poor conditions at the property.

The officers found a catalogue of health and safety hazards, including a loft ladder leading to a bedroom occupied by a tenant in a loft conversion on the second floor of the building, inadequate fire precautions and excessive cold.

Smoke detectors had either not been fitted or were not working, fire doors were either poorly maintained or had not been fitted and there was no heating or hot water because the boiler was broken.

The means of escape for tenants through the front door was inadequate because there was no corridor from the bottom of the stairs to the door.

Officers issued a prohibition order in January of this year prohibiting the use of the ladder to the loft bedroom but on a visit a month later found the ladder was still in place and the room was occupied.

The court heard that De Sousa had made a number of improvements to the property, including sealing the loft room and taking away the ladder and enforcing walls in the house to increase resistance to fire but the work had been poorly carried out and inadequate to protect the tenants.

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