HMO landlord fined for safe safety breach

Landlord Haresh Rambahai Patel was jailed for eight months for ignoring fire safety regulations and endangering the lives of his tenants.

Patel’s two adjoining properties in Highfields, Leicester, caught fire in the early hours of the 8th of May last year. Fire fighters had to rescue three residents, from the three story building, where no proper fire safety measures were in place.

Patel had ignored warnings from the council given as far back as the year before the fire.

At Leicester Crown Court yesterday, Judge Robert Brown told him: “You offered rented accommodation in your properties and were well aware of the obligations as a landlord to protect the health and safety of your tenants – or you should have been.

The judge said other tenants later complained about lack of fire safety measures at another property Patel was renting out, in Gopsall Street, Highfields. He said the complaints showed Patel “learnt little from the Evington Street fire”.

Patel has 16 other rental properties worth about £2.5 million

He pleaded guilty to seven offences during an earlier hearing at Leicester Crown Court.

In the property there were no working smoke alarms or emergency lights, the fire exits were blocked, there were combustible obstacles such as furniture in corridors, fire doors were either missing, left open or jammed and a fire extinguisher in the hall had not been inspected for 25 years.

The court was told Patel was fined £38,000 by magistrates earlier this year following a separate city council prosecution, for failing to have the necessary licences to run his business at Evington Street and Gopsall Street.

West midlands fire service by Vinnyman1 is licensed and edited under creative commons

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