By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Warning to Landlords after Suspended Jail Sentence

An advisory service is warning landlords to heed the lessons from a recent court case concerning legal obligation to ensure fire safety in rental properties.

Zahir Ahmed of Sheffield was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and 250 hours of community service after admitting to violating fire safety laws.

The case stemmed from a fire at a property he owned in February 2022 when firefighters had to rescue all 11 people trapped inside the building.


Landlord Licensing & Defence says the incident exposed a series of fire safety failings including a lack of fire alarms, emergency lighting, and proper fire doors. The single staircase also collapsed during the fire, injuring a firefighter.

Director Phil Turtle says: "Having a fire risk assessment, particularly for HMOs is essential for landlords to meet their legal obligations and ensure the safety of their tenants. This is a crucial step in identifying potential fire hazards in a rental property.

"It helps landlords develop a plan to mitigate these risks and ensure safe escape routes for tenants in case of a fire."

Turtle cites three reasons why fire safety should be a top priority for UK landlords.

Firstly there is a legal obligation under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which requires landlords in England and Wales to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of fire and ensure the safe means of escape for occupants; second there is tenant safety because of the devastating consequences of a fire; and thirdly there are financial repercussions - non-compliance can lead to hefty fines and even imprisonment, as seen in the Sheffield case.

Turtle is now urging landlords to take proactive steps towards fire safety in their rental properties and says: "All landlords, or their agent, should regularly conduct fire risk assessments, install necessary safety equipment, and educate your tenants on fire safety procedures.

"By prioritising fire safety, landlords can create a safer environment for their tenants and avoid potential legal and financial repercussions."

Want to comment on this story? Our focus is on providing a platform for you to share your insights and views and we welcome contributions.
If any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.
Please help us by reporting comments you consider to be unduly offensive so we can review and take action if necessary. Thank you.

  • John  Adams

    Deserves everything he gets. Frankly folk like him get every decent landlord tarred with the same brush.

  • icon

    11 People inside was it an HMO or had the tenants been subletting?? just asking

  • icon

    I am surprised he got off so lightly!


    No doubt there is a reason he got off lightly, only we are not being told

  • icon

    Should not have been suspended when a firefighter was injured.

  • Richard LeFrak

    Why suspended, he was happily taking rent so he should have had the place up to scratch unless it was sublet.


    I'm certainly not defending this guy but as normal we only know 1/2 the story, I fully expect in truth there is a lot more to this. there normally is in these cases

  • icon

    When you can get half a dozen guys to hand wash your car for a tenner they must be packed-in somewhere.

  • icon

    Want to say it , but not allowed to on here


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up