London Fire Safety Breach | Managing Agents Safety Regulations

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Fire safety breaches result in prosecution for London property management company managing agents

Health and safety and fire risk management is an important aspect of a freehold or leasehold property management company's responsibility. The consequences of failure to meet requirements can be catastrophic when it comes to the lives and well being of the leaseholders and residents. The risk of injury or death is clear however ineffective management can also have very serious financial penalties as evidenced by recent fines handed out by the courts..

Under a property lease certain aspects of property management and fire safety are unavoidably the responsibility of the freeholder. A professional, regulated property management company or managing agent will help ensure that buildings and grounds are well maintained in compliance with current health and safety requirements offering protection to all concerned.

Failure to face up to these responsibilities can lead to prosecution and recent case law supports this. The managing agent of a block of flats in London was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay almost £13,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaches of fire safety law.

The leasehold owner of the premises was fined £33,000 after pleading guilty to one offence under the Order and ordered to pay costs of £6,440.

Following a fire in a flat, London Fire Brigade carried out an audit of the communal areas. Officers found a number of fire safety breaches which included failure to: make an emergency plan, ensure fire doors were self closing, install a fire alarm system and ensure that the electrical intake cupboard was locked.

Assistant commissioner for fire safety regulation, Steve Turek, said: “London Fire Brigade will continue to take action against managing agents, lease owners or landlords who do not take their fire safety responsibilities seriously. Failure to comply with the law can, as this case has shown, result in a prosecution.”

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