£4,000 for landlord who flouted fire safety restrictions


A landlord has been forced to pay £1,000 in fines and £3,246 in costs for letting his property out after being served with a prohibition notice.

Steven Russell, of Courtyard Hotel in Stockton on Tees, pleaded guilty at Teesside Magistrates Court for failure to comply with a prohibition notice. This is an offence under 32(2) (h) of the Fire Safety Order 2005.

It comes after restrictions served by Cleveland Fire and Rescue Service were flouted, with people found occupying the property despite required works not being completed.


Inadequate fire doors and means of escape

An inspection of the above property in November 2009 revealed a number of fire safety breaches in the top two floors of the four-storey building.

Fire investigators found that the means of escape for both floors were inadequate, due to missing or incorrectly fitted intumescent strips and smoke seals. Investigators also found fire doors did not meet the 30-minute standard.

The breaches led to a prohibition notice for both floors.

However, less than a year later, the fire service was informed by Stockton Borough Council that Mr Russell had tenants in the third floor bedrooms and that the necessary works had not been carried out.


Barry Waller, head of fire engineering for the service, said:

“The prohibition notice was served in November 2009 following several audits and inspections during which Cleveland Fire Brigade had attempted to encourage Mr Russell to bring fire safety measures within the premises up to the required standard”.

“It related to the use of the third and fourth floors and in effect it rendered them unusable until further safety measures were implemented. After receiving information that the upper storeys were being used to accommodate guests, a further inspection of the premises by Cleveland on 13 October 2010, revealed that the third floor bedrooms were indeed in use as guest sleeping accommodation without remedial action having been instigated”.

Since then, the third floor has been passed as fit for the use of tenants but the fourth floor remains prohibited.