Monday, 30 December 2013

North London landlord fined for fire safety breach

A landlord based in Haringey, London who lets out a property in Muswell Hill has been fined a five-figure sum for failing to ensure the premises was in check with fire safety laws.

Wayne Chodosh was found to be guilty of four offences under to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at the home on Duke's Avenue.

He was sentenced at Tottenham Magistrates' Court and subsequently fined a total of £12,520.
Firefighters were alerted to the fire safety failings when the London Fire Brigade was called to a fire at the three-storey property on January 10th 2011 whereupon they found no blaze, just a badly working dehumidifier, but did notice a number of other issues with the premises.

An inspection carried out between the London Fire Brigade's fire safety officers and Haringey Council found that fire doors had been poorly maintained, no functional alarm system and no emergency lighting. Meanwhile, a fire risk assessment had not been carried out on the property.
It was also found that the house, which was set up as nine separate flats, had not been properly licensed properly as a 'house of multiple occupancy'.

"Landlords have a legal responsibility to ensure that the people living in the properties that they own are safe from the risk of fire," said Steve Turek, London Fire Brigade's assistant commissioner for fire safety regulation.

"If we find people ignoring these responsibilities and putting people’s lives at risk by flouting these laws we will have no hesitation in prosecuting them."

The property is no longer under the ownership of Mr Chodosk, but it has been refurbished and now no longer is kept as a house of multiple occupancy.

This inspection marks one of the 16,000 that the London Fire Brigade carries out each year on premises throughout the capital.

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.

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