Fines dished out as part of council crackdown on landlords, landlords have been the target of a new crackdown by Barnet Council, who are checking that they have the correct licences for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and are making all of the legally required preparations for fire safety. Fines so far have totalled £200,000 since March. In one of the cases, a property owned by Mr Yossi Meshulam, housing 12 people was raided – where officials were shocked to find the tenants, which included a child, sharing seven rooms in an HMO that did not have a fire escape and that the communal kitchen did not have a closable door. In this case, the landlord was handed a fine of £5,000, a £130 victim’s surcharge and was also landed with paying the council’s costs of bringing the case to court – which added another £1,535 to his fine.
Fire service warns businesses after spike in enforcement action. Local businesses in South Yorkshire have been told by the Fire and Rescue Service to make sure they understand their legal responsibilities with regard to fire safety. The warning comes after an increase in enforcement activity by fire officers, who have served ten prohibition orders on South Yorkshire companies in the last few month – having only served an average of three per year in the past.
A Milton Keynes guest-house owner, Nicole Harris, has been landed with a £24,000 fine by magistrates after she pleaded guilty to eight counts of breaching fire safety regulations. The offences for which the guest house owner fined include: Failing to protect the routes for fire escapes; storing flammable materials on the dire escape routes; having an unsatisfactory fire alarm system; failing to maintain a fire risk assessment; a lack of equipment to deal with small fires; and failing to comply with the Prohibition Notice that was served on her by Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire Authority enforcement officers – who she also obstructed in the line of their duty. She had allowed guests to continue to stay in the property even after being issued with a legal notice that expressly forbade her to do so.