North Herts Landlord Fined for Fire Safety Issues

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A rogue North Herts landlord has been issued a fine by magistrates of over £5,000 for admitting to fire safety failings following a fire at his rental property.

A fire hit the rental property, located in Letchworth, North Herts, in November last year. Landlord Lawrence Connors, of Hitchin Road in Arlesey, let the property out to several tenants. The fire caused major damage but fortunately no one was injured in the blaze.

Connors admitted to failing to comply with fire safety regulations when he appeared before Stevenage magistrates. North Herts District Council had brought the prosecution after its environmental health team, who were working with firefighters, discovered that no fire safety measures had been put in place at the rental property, posing a serious danger to the lives of those tenants inside.

The council served an emergency prohibition order to stop the North Herts building from being reoccupied due to the fire safety risk posed by lack of safety measures at the rental property, and also brought the prosecution against the buy to let landlord.

Stevenage magistrates court fined 36-year-old Connors £3,500, and also ordered the landlord to pay £1,407.29. In addition, he has been told to pay a £120 surcharge. This brings the total amount payable to £5,027.29.

Councillor Bernard Lovewell, who is responsible for housing and environmental health at the district council, spoke out about the case. He said: ‘It is vital that landlords make sure that all fire safety measures are put in place when renting out a property. It is extremely fortunate that no-one was hurt as a result of the fire at the property. Neglecting to do this not only puts tenants at serious risk but also breaks the law, and I hope this prosecution sends out a message to all landlords that they must take their responsibilities seriously.’

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