Islington landlord ordered to pay more than £20,000 in fire safety fines
- Credit: London Fire Brigade
A landlord who committed a series of fire safety breaches has been ordered to pay £20,385 within two years.
Jin Zhang - who owns residential accommodation on the first and second floors of a building on New North Road - was charged with multiple fire safety failings after his tenants had raised concerns.
He was found guilty on all charges at City of London Magistrates' Court last month.
It was found that Mr Zhang’s tenants only had one fire escape option from their first-floor flat - via a single staircase to a takeaway restaurant on the ground floor.
This restaurant was covered by a metal shutter that was closed at night.
Concerns were also raised about the lack of fire alarm systems despite the property being above a restaurant, concerns which prompted the local authority to get involved once Mr Zhang had failed to take action.
Beyond having inadequate fire safety arrangements and having no fire alarm systems, Mr Zhang was also found guilty of charges that included fire doors missing, no self-closing door to kitchen and main electrical intake cupboard not being fire rated.
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He was fined £500 for each offence and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £50 and £17,335 in costs. The total amount of £20,385 is to be paid within 24 months.
The London fire brigade’s assistant commissioner for fire safety, Paul Jennings, said: “When our inspectors visited this property, the breaches were serious enough for them to immediately evacuate residents as there were grave concerns for their safety in the event of a fire.
“Although the shutter at the front of the restaurant was not locked at night, the residents would still have had to open it before being able to escape during a fire which is completely unacceptable and could easily have hindered their ability to get out quickly.
“It’s important for all tenants to be aware of their landlord’s responsibilities when it comes to fire safety so they can highlight any concerns.
“There’s no excuse for leaving people’s safety to chance, especially when information is so readily available to those with responsibility for safety in buildings to understand what their duties are and ensure they comply with the law.”