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Reading property owner flouted fire regulations

27 June 2017

A PROACTIVE inspection by Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) uncovered multiple fire safety breaches at a house in Reading.

On 25 August 2016, inspectors from BFRS visited the three-storey house in Erleigh Road, which was owned by Mohammed Asif Shaffait. The visit identified seven fire doors that didn’t have self-closers, despite Shaffait being previously advised to install them. 

The premises was licensed to be a house in multiple occupation (HMO) but Shaffait failed to leave contact details for the property manager with his tenants between August and November last year. He also failed to provide a gas safety certificate or front page of his HMO license when asked to present it.

Shaffait appeared at Reading Magistrates’ Court on 26 June and pleaded guilty to multiple fire safety breaches and a separate charge for not having a gas safety certificate. He was fined a total of £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,208 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, Reading Borough Council lead member for housing councillor John Ennis said: “It is simply not acceptable for landlords of HMOs to flout regulations when it comes to the safety of their tenants. 

“I am glad that our private sector housing team, with the support of our lawyers, are there to stick up for private renters and take action against the minority of landlords who fail to put in the required safety precautions.”