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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Landlord sentence following tenant deaths

Snaresbrook Crown Court has heard how a fire at a Walthamstow House in Multiple Occupation killed two of its tenants. 

Thomas McCann, 60 and Hamza Zulfiqar, 21 both died in the fire back in July 2011.

The 5 bedroom HMO at 43 Woodlands Road, E17 was owned by landlord, Muhammad Ashraf. 

The day after the fire, the property was inspected by the London Fire Brigade who found it had breached a number of fire safety regulations. 
  • The only fire exit, the front door, due to its mortice lock required a key to unlock it.
  • There were no fire detectors or smoke alarms at the property.
  • There was no firefighting equipment at the property.
  • No fire risk assessment had been undertaken.
  • None of the internal doors provided the required 30 minutes fire resistance. 
Mr Ashraf pleaded guilty to four offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

He received a a six month suspended jail sentence, 200 hours of community service and told to pay £22,684 in prosecution costs. 

London Fire Brigade's Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety, Neil Orbell, commented:

"It is a tragedy that two people’s lives have been lost as a direct result of fire safety failures and our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr McCann and Mr Zulfiqar.

Landlords running houses of multiple occupation have a legal duty to keep their tenants safe from fire. The defendant has fallen extremely far short of the necessary fire safety standards which sadly contributed to this terrible loss of life."

Starting from October 1st, new Fire Safety Regulations in Rental Properties mean all properties must be fitted with a working smoke alarm on each floor, alongside a carbon monoxide alarm in any rooms with a solid fuel burners - such as cookers and heaters.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He got off lightly. Landlords who ignore fire safety regulations that cost lives should go to jail for a very long time.