Wembley landlord fined for renting out ‘death trap’
PUBLISHED: 10:18 03 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:19 03 May 2017
A Wembley landlord has avoided jail for renting out a “death trap” attic to a family of five, including three children.
Jan Ahmed, 42, of Brampton Grove, who is leaseholder of a property above Sadaqat’s barber’s shop in Ealing Road, was handed 38 days in custody, suspended for six months, 100 hours of community service and ordered to pay £2,000 for numerous fire safety failings.
Fire chiefs described the crowded house of multiple occupation (HMO), which had seven first floor rooms and a second floor attic, as a “potential death trap.”
When they visited the property in January 2015 the Brigade’s fire safety inspectors discovered failings including a poor loft conversion and a hole in the landing that could cause a fire to quickly spread.
There was no fire alarm system or firefighting equipment and no evidence of any fire risk assessment.
Ahmed had provided no safe emergency exits from the second-floor loft room, officers said. Escape was via a steep and unstable “ladder” type bolt-together staircase and a trapdoor which didn’t have a proper handle fitted on the inside.
Gaps above two of the doors would cause a fire to spread and slow down residents trying to escape.
The electrical mains switch box in the hall was also not protected
Ahmed pleaded guilty to ten offences and was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on April 21.
Andy Hearn, deputy assistant commissioner for fire safety at the London Fire Brigade, said: “This building was a potential death trap. The crowded and cramped conditions combined with the woefully inadequate fire safety provision would have put the lives of those inside at serious risk if ever a fire had broken out.
“It’s the responsibility of landlords under fire safety law to ensure their tenants are safe from the risk of fire. If we find they are not taking those responsibilities seriously we won’t hesitate to prosecute.”