£20,000 fire safety fine for Norwich landlord

The manager of a four-storey property in Norwich has been fined more than £20,000 after breaching fire safety rules.

As the licence holder and manager of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), Abdul Bashir was responsible for undergoing fire safety training and ensuring the health and safety of all tenants of the Prince of Wales Road property.

However, when Norwich City Council inspected the property, which was home to a restaurant on the ground floor and staff members residing on the upper floors, they found a number of safety issues. These included failure to ensure fire alarms were working, that escape routes were clear from obstruction and that common areas on the first floor were reasonably unobstructed.

Mr Bashir pleaded guilty to four breaches of fire safety regulations relating to HMOs and was subsequently fined £4,500 for each. This totalled £18,000, but he was also ordered to pay an additional £2,200 in court costs.

Otis Hernandez, a private sector housing officer for the council, said after the hearing:

“The result sends out an important message to people that the council will take action against those whose negligence puts others at risk. That a fine so close to the maximum was handed out demonstrates the seriousness of these offences.”