Inadequate fire safety death leads to prison for landlord

June 9, 2023

Inadequate fire safety death leads to prison for landlord.

From our colleagues at Barbour EHS.

A landlord has been jailed for 13 months for fire safety breaches following a 2019 basement ‘flat’ fire that led to the death of a 32-year-old man.

The “entirely avoidable” tragedy was caused by a fire that started from the cooker situated in the basement or cellar of a mid-terraced house in Harehills, confirmed West Yorkshire Police.

It is believed that the downstairs space had been unofficially converted into a flat and housed Philip Sheridan, on housing benefits, who had signed a tenancy agreement with landlord Humrazz Shahid in 2013.

When the fire broke out, Sheridan attempted to escape through the door of the flat and suffered several burns to his body. He died in hospital a number of days later “as a result of complications arising from severe smoke inhalation”.

In an inquest, both the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the local authority concluded that the premises was “unsuitable for human habitation, due in part to the inadequacy of the fire detection and escape measures”.

Leeds Crown Court heard that the entrance door to the flat had been partially blocked by the cooker. It was an inward-opening door and did not have a suitable handle. Additionally, no smoke or fire alarm had been fitted at the property at the time.

Shahid is believed to have been responsible for the management of the property since 2008 and admitted to the “offence of failing to discharge a duty owed under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974”.

On 3 May 2023, he appeared at court for sentencing where he was immediately given a 13-month jail term. Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Superintendent Marc Bowes, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “The death of Philip Sheridan in these circumstances was an absolute tragedy, but one that was entirely avoidable had Shahid taken his responsibilities to ensure a safe living environment seriously.

“We worked closely with Leeds City Council to bring this successful prosecution, and we hope that seeing Shahid held accountable for his flagrant breach of the regulations will serve as a clear reminder to other landlords and property managers who fail to meet their legal obligations to put the safety of their tenants first.”

FIA
May 2023

Our Comment

This prosecution against serves to remind landlords of the absolute importance of maintaining fire safety standards within the buildings they rent.

Contact

At William Martin we have a nationwide team of experts who offer a comprehensive range of health and safety compliance services. As part of the Marlowe Software, Risk & Compliance division, William Martin also has access to a wider range of complementary services.

This content has been produced in association with our sister company, Barbour.

For all enquiries, please contact us or call our team on 0203 819 8829.

Related Posts

https://wmcompliance.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Barbour-JustIcon-wh.png Approved Document B 2024 amendments May 14, 2024

Approved Document B 2024 amendments

Updated Government guidance calling for second staircases in all new tall residential buildings over 18m.

https://wmcompliance.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Barbour-JustIcon-wh.png Building Safety Regulator May 13, 2024

Building Safety Regulator Clarifies Design Requirements

The Building Safety Regulator (BSR) has been urged to provide more clarity.

https://wmcompliance.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Barbour-JustIcon-wh.png landlord jailed May 13, 2024

Landlord Jailed After Fails to Meet Fire Safety Regulations

A landlord has been jailed after she “put the lives and safety of residents & employees at risk”.

https://wmcompliance.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Barbour-JustIcon-wh.png fire safety breaches May 13, 2024

Significant fines imposed for fire safety breaches

A property management firm has been fined nearly £28,000 for serious breaches of fire safety regs.

https://wmcompliance.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Barbour-JustIcon-wh.png housing company burns May 13, 2024

Housing Company Fined £500,000 After Worker Suffers Burns

A housing company has been fined £528,000 after an employee suffered burns to his face.

https://wmcompliance.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Barbour-JustIcon-wh.png remove asbestos May 13, 2024

Company ‘makes a shambles’ of asbestos removal

A company based in Kent has been fined £30,000, and its director fined £5,000.