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Landlord ordered to pay almost £5k for ‘cutting corners in terms of fire safety’

A buy-to-let landlord has been ordered to pay a fine of £2,646, costs of £2,000 and a victim surcharge of £170 after pleading guilty to three offences relating to his failure to comply with fire safety requirements in a privately rented property in Basildon, Essex.

Marcus Brade, 47, of Wickhay, Basildon, appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court last week where he was convicted of three offences relating to a HMO in Oldwyk, Basildon, which he owns and rents out privately.

The charges included a breach of an Improvement Notice served by Basildon Council under the Housing Act 2004, which required works to be carried out in respect of fire safety measures.

He was also charged with two offences under the HMO Management Regulations 2006 that require relevant fire measures to be in place including interlinked smoke alarms and an adequately protected fire escape route.

The rental property in Oldwyk was previously subject to an Emergency Prohibition Order under Brade’s management where officers determined serious safety risks to the occupants.

Cllr Don Morris, chairman of the housing committee at Basildon Council, commented: “All borough residents deserve a home that is safe and we will do all we can to take action against private landlords who think they can cut corners in terms of fire safety when letting their properties.

“HMO accommodation is regarded as being at a higher risk of fire than single family homes. I would like to thank council officers for their intervention. This prosecution sends a clear message to landlords that we will act to ensure the safety of tenants.”

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