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Landlord fined £5k for safety failings

A landlord has been ordered to pay just over £5,000 after admitting safety failings at a fire-hit house in Letchworth, Hertfordshire.

Lawrence Connors, of Hitchin Road in Arlesey, accepted that he had failed to comply with fire safety regulations when he appeared before Stevenage Magistrates.

The Chiltern View property rented by Connors to several tenants caused major damage when it caught fire on 6 November last year, but thankfully nobody was injured.

When North Herts District Council’s environmental health team, working with firefighters, discovered that no fire safety measures had been put in place at the property, the council decided to take legal action against the landlord.

An emergency prohibition order was served to stop the building from being reoccupied due to the safety risk.

Magistrates chaired by David McDonald fined 36-year-old landlord £3,500, and ordered him to pay £1,407.29. He must also pay £120 surcharge, making a total bill of £5,027.29.

Cllr Bernard Lovewell, who is responsible for housing and environmental health at the district council, 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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