Landlord fined over missing fire signs
Posted by Jason Nicholls.
A Bradford landlord has been fined for putting lives at risk partly because of missing fire safety signs at a student property he owned and managed.
Bradford Magistrates' Court heard that Enus Miah's eleven-bedroom house in the city's university area was so poorly maintained that Bradford Council environmental officers discovered sewage running through its back garden when they visited it last year, the Telegraph & Argus reported.
Mr Miah was fined £2,500 after pleading guilty to five charges relating to his failure to ensure the property was safe for habitation.
Prosecutor Harjit Ryatt, acting on behalf of the council, said there were no fire signs in the property to alert tenants to an escape route in the case of a fire and one of the bedrooms was so poorly lit no one could use it.
Tenants had been forced to overload extension cables because there weren't enough power sockets and an oven was deemed unsafe to use because it was obstructed by a fridge.
There was also evidence of rodent droppings, the court heard.
However, Mr Miah said he did put all the fire safety signs up but tenants had removed them.
He had appointed a manager to look after the property but when he left after six months he couldn't find anyone else to take over.
"I had to work for someone else and I didn't have enough time," the newspaper reported him as saying.
The landlord could have faced a fine of £5,000 for each individual charge but Peter Holmes, the chairman of the bench, said the fine would be less severe given Mr Miah's early guilty pleas and efforts to address the problems - the property is now judged to be in satisfactory condition.
"The level of the fine and award for costs shows how important it is for landlords to take their duties and responsibilities towards their property seriously," Liam Jowett, Bradford Council’s housing standards manager, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
"If they fail to maintain their property to a reasonable standard and are not prepared to act on the advice given to them by environmental health officers, then they can be taken to court and suffer serious financial penalties."
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