Ignoring enforcement notice costs landlord £22,500

A Lancashire landlord has appeared in court for ignoring instructions from a fire and rescue service to carry out essential maintenance on his property.

On 7 June 2013, officers from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) visited a house in Westminster Road, Morecambe, which was owned by Eli Zohar. LFRS found that the emergency lighting was in a state of disrepair and there was no suitable system of maintenance in place.  Zohar was issued an enforcement notice, which required him to carry out the required maintenance but he failed to comply.

Zohar appeared at Preston Crown Court on 19 January and pleaded guilty breaching reg.32 and reg. 14(2)(h) of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. He was fined a total of £10,500 and ordered to pay £12,000 in costs.

LFRS group manager Tony Crook said: ‘Zohar is a landlord of a large number of properties in the Morecambe area, and as such has a duty to ensure that his tenants are provided a safe environment. We hope that this prosecution will ensure that the standard of his properties are kept within the requirements of the law.

‘In our constant drive to make Lancashire safer, LFRS fire safety enforcement teams are actively seeking out such premises. We would hope that the outcome of this particular case sends a clear message that fire safety is a priority issue that should always be addressed before tenants or guests are accommodated. In this instance the consequences of the inadequate fire safety measures and inadequate management could have led to serious injury or loss of life and circumstances left us no option but to take this action.’