Landlord admits mismanaging safety
A local authority identified a multitude of fire safety failings at a flat in Liverpool, following complaints by a tenant.
A tenant at a property in Walton contacted Liverpool City Council to complain that his gas supply had been disconnected. Environmental health officers from the council visited the six-storey property and found there were no mains wired smoke detectors anywhere in the building and the battery operated detectors in the bedrooms were not working. There was also no heat detector in the kitchen.
The inspection also identified that the fire doors were either damaged, ill-fitting, or did not close properly. Rubbish was also causing obstructions on staircases and blocking emergency exits. The water supply was leaking directly above the electrical distribution board in the basement, and there was a hole in the wall of the first floor mezzanine storage room, which had been filled with a combustible material.
The owner of the property, Jeffrey Grant, appeared at Liverpool Magistrates Court on 4 September and pleaded guilty to multiple breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. He was fined a total of £1300 and ordered to pay £2290 in costs.
Liverpool City Council cabinet member for housing councillor Ann O’Byrne told the Liverpool Echo: ‘It was clear to us that this property had been mismanaged for longer than a year, and although I appreciate that Grant may have financial and personal problems it is no excuse for putting people’s lives in danger.
‘It is extremely fortunate that there wasn’t a fire or the consequences could have been dire. Our message is if you can’t manage your property, sell it or put it in the hands of someone who can manage it properly. People have a right to expect the property they rent is safe.’