Ilford landlord jailed for fire safety offences after renting out ‘too dangerous to live in’ property
PUBLISHED: 09:09 20 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:18 20 December 2017
An Ilford landlord, who carried on renting out his property to families after he had been warned that it was “too dangerous to live in” has been jailed.
Mr Manmohan Sahib, 60, of Ilford was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday, December 15, after pleading guilty to three offences related to fire safety at a property on High Road.
Fire officers described how Mr Sahib knew his premises were not supposed to be occupied while a prohibition notice was in force but on re-inspection they found people living there, including his disabled brother and his carer. There also appeared to be young children living at the premises.
London Fire Brigade (LFB) fire inspectors had raised a series of serious safety concerns including, lack of smoke alarms, lack of fire compartmentation between commercial and residential parts of the building, issues relating to the maintenance and suitability of fire doors and no emergency lighting in fire escape routes.
Mr Sahib claimed he was unaware residents had returned after being asked to leave and that they must have “broken in”.
He was 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, His Honour 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 called the LFB and said you had remedied the deficiencies – that was a bare-faced lie.
“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.”
LFB’s assistant commissioner for fire safety, Dan Daly said: “The fact that the landlord went ahead with the occupation of the building despite being issued with a prohibition notice is truly shocking.
“Not only does it show a blatant disregard for fire safety, it put the lives of anyone living there at serious risk should a fire have broken out.
“The prison sentence handed down in this case should send a clear message that, while we will do everything we can to help building owners meet their fire safety responsibilities, if we find they are blatantly ignoring them, we will not hesitate to prosecute.”