Landlord fined over fire hazard offences


A Cardiff landlord has been fined more than £4,000 after a court heard three flats he was managing had no working fire alarm system, dangerous electrics and defective kitchen equipment.

Mr Javed Akhtar appeared before Cardiff Magistrates' Court where he admitted 14 offences relating to housing regulations and was fined a total of £4,200.

Court papers detailed how the three-storey property in Neville Street, Riverside, Cardiff, had been converted into three self-contained flats without planning permission.

During an inspection of the flats, all of which had tenants, it was discovered the property had no working fire alarm system, obstructions to the fire escape route, dangerous electrical installations, insufficient and defective kitchen facilities, rooms without windows and unacceptable heating arrangements.

No gas or electrical safety certificates had been obtained for the property.

The court papers revealed that given the condition of the property, the tenants would receive little or no warning of a fire in the flats and fire and smoke could rapidly spread throughout the building, preventing the tenants from escaping.

Prohibition orders were made regarding all three flats, meaning they can't be occupied until work is carried out to make them safe.

The case was heard at Cardiff Magistrates' Court on September 11 where Akhtar, of Severn Grove, Canton, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to 14 offences and was fined £600 for each of seven offences with no penalty for the remaining seven offences.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £60.

Councillor Michael Michael, Cardiff Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Shared Regulatory Service between Bridgend, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils, said: "With fire safety firmly on the news agenda, it is very disturbing to hear about this case, it was time bomb waiting to happen. I am very pleased that officers investigated when they did and took necessary action. Regulations are in place for a reason and the fine imposed by the court sends a very clear message that these offences are taken seriously and will not be tolerated."