HMO Landlord Fined for Failing to take Fire Safety Precautions

A LANDLORD of an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) who failed to take proper fire safety precautions has been left with a court bill of more than £5,000.

Mohammed Asif Shaffait neglected to install self-closers on seven fire doors in his three-storey property in Erleigh Road, east Reading and broke other HMO rules.

The Council’s Private Sector Housing Team received a report from the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service regarding problems with the fire safety measures at the HMO on 18th August 2016.

Officers inspected the property on 25th August and found that there were no self-closers on the fire doors protecting the escape route from the HMO, despite Mr Shaffait having been advised of this on an earlier occasion.

In addition, he had failed to properly display information and documents he was required to by law.

Mr Shaffait, of Fatherson Road, east Reading, appeared before Reading Magistrates Court on 9th June 2017 and admitted:

·        No self-closers on seven fire doors (£2,000 fine)

·        Failure to have manager’s name, address and telephone number displayed at the HMO between 25th August 2016 – 3rd November 2016 (£1,000 fine)

·        Failure to have gas safety certificate and front page of HMO licence displayed at the premises between the same dates (£1,000 fine).

Mr Shaffait was also ordered to pay £1,208 costs.

Cllr John Ennis, Lead Member for Housing, said:

“It is simply not acceptable for landlords of HMOs to flout regulations when it comes to the safety of their tenants.

“I am glad that our Private Sector Housing Team, with the support of our lawyers, are there to stick up for private renters and take action against the minority of landlords who fail to put in the required safety precautions.”

David Millward

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