A neglectful landlord, who allowed his tenants to occupy a property without working smoke alarms, a lack of sufficient fire doors and an external escape route that was in a poor state of repair, even after repeated warnings from the local council, has been fined £177,000 for serious breaches of fire safety regulations.
Philip Anthony Brotherton, the owner of Cresctcourt Properties Ltd, accepted that he put the lives of his tenants at risk by not having sufficient fire safety measures in place when he appeared before Reading Magistrates' Court.
Brotherton pleaded guilty to four charges under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Officers from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service found a number of serious issues, including various failings, when they inspected a property in Waylen Street, Reading, occupied as a house of multiple occupation.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Simon Jefferies, said: “Our priority is to ensure the safety of the people of Berkshire. We will always work with landlords to maintain fire safety standards in premises and prosecution is the last resort.
“However, we hope that the significant level of this fine will send a clear message to all property owners that they have a duty to keep our communities safe and if they put anyone at risk by breaking the law, we won’t hesitate to prosecute.”