Landlord put tenants in danger

Bury Times: The house in Walmersley Road. Picture from Google Maps. The house in Walmersley Road. Picture from Google Maps.

THE NEGLIGENCE of a landlord who failed to put proper fire safety regulations in place could have led to “the death or injury” of his tenants, a court heard.

Zohar Khan, aged 45, pleaded guilty to five offences which took place at one of his properties in Walmersley Road.

Bury Magistrates heard that the fire alarm was faulty and switched off, and that a smoke detector had been fitted in the wrong place and could not be heard in the bedsits.

The court was also told that there were combustible items in the hall and landings, which would have helped a fire take hold and spread.

There were also no fire doors or holes in the ceilings, which meant that a fire in any part of the property would have quickly spread, and smoke and toxic gases would have blocked the only escape route.

Khan, of Hampton Grove, Bury, was fined £3,400 for each offence, making a total of £17,000.

In addition, he was ordered to pay the fire service £2,223 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge at a hearing on Tuesday.

Addressing Khan, Mrs Lynn Smith JP, chairman of the bench, said: “The court takes these charges very seriously.

“There was a significant risk to every occupant of the property.

“You are a landlord of 20 properties and your negligence could have caused the death of or injury to your tenants.”

Defending, Stephen Rees said that Khan had not realised that the property was classified as a house in multiple occupancy, which presents different risks to residents.

Mr Rees said Khan accepted the property was inadequate, and had carried out work to bring the property to the required standard since the offences in May 2012.

Assistant county fire officer Geoff Harris said after the hearing: “This is another case of a landlord collecting rent from multiple tenants without giving any thought to their safety.

“The fine should send a clear message to private landlords to make sure they understand their responsibilities and make their properties safe.”

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