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NEWS


Fines and prosecutions Huge fine over four flats owned by Lincoln landlord


PATRICK JOHN Sweeney was fined £38,000 after City of Lincoln Council discovered a ‘shocking catalogue’ of issues, including multiple fire safety breaches, at one of his properties. Lincolnshire Live reported on the


prosecution of Mr Sweeney, whose four flats in St Catherine’s had issues that ‘put residents’ safety at risk’, with many fire safety breaches alongside rotten floors and exposed wires. The entrance fire doors were ‘poorly maintained’ and didn’t meet 30 minutes’ minimum resistance, while the understairs meter cupboard fire door didn’t meet this due to being ‘defective’ and not closing properly.


Ceilings in the common areas’ means of escape were ‘not constructed to give adequate fire protection’, and were lath and plaster, meaning they wouldn’t provide the one hour minimum of fire separation. Three doorways on the ground floor hall had been boarded over and didn’t provide the one hour of separation, while the ‘under-cloaking’ of the staircase in the common area was also lath and plaster, with ‘insufficient and inadequate’ detection and alarm systems in this area as well. Another means of escape from the


ground rear flat, through the bedroom window, was ‘not possible’ as the frame was rotten and couldn’t be opened, while there was an ‘inadequate and broken’ smoke detection system in that flat as the mains power light ‘did not work’. In addition, the detector in the utility area of that flat was ‘of the wrong


design’, causing false alarms, and should have been a heat and not smoke detector. That flat also had ‘insufficient


fire separation’ between the accommodation units, due to the lath and plaster ceilings, while the bedroom had no fire door nor ‘direct access’ to the corridor. A kitchen door in that flat was an unmaintained fire door, while the lounge and rear lobby door was again a ‘poorly maintained’ fire door, with holes ‘around the frame’. At the front of the property, another means of escape – the window – could not be opened due to a rotten frame, while holes in the lath and plaster ceiling compromised the compartmentation, and the entrance doors to both downstairs flats were ‘poorly maintained’ fire doors. Going upstairs, the wall above the first floor’s rear flat door was again lath and plaster, while the staircase’s under


cloaking again was unable to offer fire protection, due to being of the same material. A large ‘unsealed cavity’ between


that staircase and the blockwork wall had been ‘stuffed with flammable rags to reduce draughts’, while there were also ‘insufficient and inadequate’ fire detection and alarm systems in the common areas, with detectors not meeting the ‘minimum required standard’. Mr Sweeney was tried at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on 21 charges, and pleaded guilty to two counts of failure to comply with a housing improvement notice, as well as 19 counts of failure to comply with regulations ‘in respect of management’ of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). He was fined £38,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,569, alongside a victim surcharge of £150


Landlord prosecuted for two 'unsafe' houses said to have been in ‘serious


AMIR ASHAR has been prosecuted for renting two neighbouring homes that were ‘overcrowded and unsafe’, and that featured fire safety breaches. Manchester Evening News


reported on the prosecution of Mr Ashar, after inspectors discovered that two neighbouring homes of which he was the landlord were ‘overcrowded and unsafe’, and that both were houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The properties, 11 and 13 Cromwell Road in Salford, Manchester, were


breach of housing regulations’, with investigators visiting after a warrant was executed at number 13, due to the belief that it was overcrowded. On inspection, the house was not


fitted with an alarm system ‘designed for the style of let’ it was, and did not have fire doors leading to the house’s escape route. In turn, it had a cellar that ‘did not provide’ 30 minutes' protection in the event of a fire, with gas and electric suppliers called in to disconnect supplies because ‘they found it was unsafe


12 DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019 www.frmjournal.com


and had been tampered with’. While this inspection was going on, officers noticed a number of people leaving number 11, and used their powers to enter that property, finding that the fire alarm did not work, and that there were no fire doors leading to the escape route. It was later confirmed by witnesses that 11 people also lived there. Mr Ashar was fined £55,000 by


Manchester Property Tribunal, after an appeal hearing for breaching the regulations at both properties and failing to license one of them


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