Fire safety breach leads to first ever letting ban for landlord

The consequences of neglecting your responsibilities regarding fire safety are potentially unthinkable. Punitive fines and even prison sentences can be handed down for serious breaches of fire-safety laws and, of course, lives can be lost.

A landlord in Camden is the first ever to be banned from letting in England for fire safety risks and overall breaches against the Housing Act 2004. Cesar De Sousa Melo was fined £14,000 and banned for four years in letting any house in England for fire breaches and putting the tenants’ lives in danger, a tribunal court heard.

Camden council reported that after investigation, it was found that there were no adequate fire/smoke alarms. The council said: “Tenants’ health and safety at Goldington Crescent was placed at risk through non-working fire alarms, a kitchen door broken off its hinges and the property being overcrowded, and the kitchen was too small.” All tenants were identified as young, overseas tenants who were vulnerable to exploitation, who had their health and safety ‘compromised’ through the landlord’s neglect.

This case is the first of its kind in London, where a landlord is banned from letting for numerous safety breaches including fire. Mr Melo’s operation at all the flats has now been ceased, and all the flats have been fitted with working smoke/fire detectors.

An interesting case that’ll hopefully lead to landlords stepping up and taking responsibility for fire safety.