Landlord jailed for ‘blatant disregard for fire safety’

Published on Fri, 22nd Dec 2017 15:44

A landlord in Ilford, Essex, has been sentenced to four months in jail for continuing to rent out his property despite being told that it was “too dangerous to live in”.

The landlord, Manmohan Sahib, 60, of Ilford, had been warned earlier on in the year about the poor state of his property, especially a lack of fire compartmentation between the commercial and residential parts of the building, issues relating to the maintenance and suitability of fire doors, lack of smoke alarms, and no emergency lighting in the fire escape route, and had been issued with a prohibiotion notice stopping him letting the property.

When the property was re-inspected fire officers  found people living there, including his disabled brother and his carer, along with young children.

When quizzed, Sahib insisted the he was unaware residents had returned after being asked to vacate the property, claiming that they leave must have ‘broken in’.

He has now been sentenced to four months immediate imprisonment and ordered to pay full prosecution costs of £23,076. 

A confiscation order of £8,400, relating to income received while the premises were prohibited, was also imposed.

In sentencing, judge Lafferty remarked: “Landlords who choose to rent out flats on upper floors to the public, are under a very high duty to ensure tenants are kept safe from the risks of fire. You were served with a prohibition notice. You ignored that. You called the London Fire Brigade and said you had remedied the deficiencies. That was a bare-faced lie. You had not. The tenants had to be removed with the assistance of the police but they returned. You sought to deceive the London Fire Brigade saying the tenants had copied keys and were squatters.

“In my judgment a custodial sentence is the only one that can be justified. I take the view that the London Fire Brigade is pursuing and performing a very important duty.”