Landlord fined for ‘potentially lethal’ student house

A London landlord has been ordered to pay £4,485.17 for breaching legislations that are designed to protect the student tenants in his property in Birmingham.

Despite many requests to the landlord, issues around the property were not resolved and the property remained in a state of disrepair. A full investigation into the property was launched after one of the student tenants contacted Birmingham City Council in October 2016.

A housing member of Birmingham City Council stated that “[the landlord] failed to obtain a HMO license and breached HMO Management Regulations, despite guidance from council officers.”

The list of identified issues at the property included:

  • Failure to provide a fire door, or fire resistant construction under the ground floor stairs
  • Combustible materials stored in the escape route under the stairs
  • No self-closing fire door on the ground floor front bedroom
  • A holed and damaged door on the ground floor
  • Defective and insecure treads on the staircase
  • First floor bedroom window was unable to be opened
  • The front external door was ill-fitting and had excessive gaps between the door and frame

The issues that have been identified could have led to a quick spreading fire, with the student tenants unable to use the escape routes effectively due to blockages and further dangers. Both the students and landlord are incredibly lucky that a fire did not occur at the property, otherwise the outcome could be potentially lethal.

If you’re unsure of your responsibilities as a landlord, call Fire FM today on 01582 668500 to find out how we can keep you compliant and your tenants safe.