A landlord has been fined five thousand pounds for leaving his tenants ‘at imminent risk of serious injury from fire’.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) were called in February to a three-storey property in Shelley Road, Worthing, owned by private landlord Gary Mobsby, after a concerned tenant contacted them about a non-functioning fire detection system, a spokesperson for Adur and Worthing councils said.
The spokesperson said ‘residents of the seven flats were at imminent risk of serious injury from fire’ and that ‘emergency remedial action’ was carried out and the faulty fire detection system was replaced.
Further inspection of the property, also carried out by the Worthing Borough Council Private Sector Housing team and supported by Building Control, found that the doors to the flats did not provide adequate fire and smoke protection.
They also found the work carried out by Mobsby to create self-contained flats was found to be substandard, not to building regulation standards and did not provide adequate fire protection, the spokesperson said.
Mobsby, of Brighton Road, Worthing, pleaded guilty to seven offences and was ordered to pay £5,018 (including costs) for failing to properly manage his rental property, at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Friday 11th November, according to councils.
Bruce Reynolds, Adur and Worthing councils private sector housing manager, said: “Our investigations uncovered a history of poor maintenance of the fire detection system and of the structure of the building as a whole.
“If there had been a fire, tenants would have been unaware of it until it was too late. Due to the seriousness of the conditions we found, prosecution was the only option,” he added.