Landlord fined £165K for Fire Safety breaches


A rogue landlord in the Kensington area of London has been fined more than £150,000 after cramming 18 tenants into a flat.It was subdivided using flimsy pieces of plasterboard as makeshift partitions to create 14 rooms, which were lived in by 18 people.There were no fire doors, smoke detectors or alarms in the flat which had one kitchen shared by all the tenants.Due to the way the flat had been subdivided, some rooms had no electric light fittings in the ceiling, which meant extension leads and trailing wires running through the property.The conditions were deemed so dangerous environmental health officers from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea issued a Prohibition Order to prevent further use of the flat.

The landlord along with 2 other companies involved were found guilty at Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court of failing to license a House in Multiple Occupation along with 22 further charges under HMO Management Regulations.The defendants, who did not attend court, were fined a combined £162,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,498.This story is one of many where rogue landlords are fined for astounding fire safety breaches.

The law is cracking down on landlords breaking the law and is setting more and more examples with a no tolerance policy for breaking the law with illegal and unsafe alterations.

Effective compartmentation of buildings

Building Regulations stipulate sub-dividing buildings into a number of compartments in order to restrict the spread of fire. Compartment walls separate these fire compartments from one another and floors made of a fire-resisting construction, which contains the spread of fire.

What is the purpose of fire compartmentation?

  1. It prevents the rapid spread of fire, which could trap the occupants of a building.

  2. It reduces the chance of fires growing and creating a danger to occupants, fire and rescue services and people in the vicinity of the building.

  3. It limits the damage caused to a building and its contents.

The degree of sub-division that should be provided by fire compartmentation will be dependent on:

  1. The use of the building.

  2. The fire load in the building.

  3. The height of the building.

  4. The availability of a sprinkler system.

For more information on passive fire protection and building compartmentation:

Contact Agile Fire Safety at elfyn.edwards@btinternet.com

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