London Fire Brigade

Landlord given suspended prison sentence for fire safety failures

04 May 2011

ScalesA landlord has received a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to four breaches of fire safety law.

Mr. Inderjit Singh (59) was given a six months prison sentence to be served concurrently on each of the four offences, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay over £10,000 in costs.

Between 24 June 2008 and 23 February 2009 Hillingdon Council had contact with Mr Singh. They explained that the house he rented out on Lansbury Drive in Hayes needed a number of building and fire safety improvements. 

On the 10 March 2009, four fire engines and around 20 firefighters were called to a fire at the property. Following the fire a joint investigation was carried out by London Fire Brigade and Hillingdon Council. They found no fire alarms or detection in the common areas of the property, inadequate fire doors and that no fire risk assessment had been carried out, which would have highlighted these shortcomings.

Assistant Commissioner for fire safety regulation Steve Turek said:

“This verdict sends out a clear message that if landlords ignore fire safety then they will face serious penalties. Mr. Singh was given plenty of time to improve fire safety inside the property but failed to comply. The London Fire Brigade works hard to make companies and individuals understand their responsibilities under fire safety law and only uses prosecution as a last resort.”

Sentencing of Mr. Singh took place at Harrow Crown Court on 3 May.

Notes to Editors

On 11 March 2011, Mr Singh appeared at Harrow Crown Court where he entered guilty pleas to the following contraventions of the RRO:

  • One count of failing to have carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, contrary to article 9(1)
  • One count of failing to equip premises with fire detection, contrary to article 13(1)(a)
  • Two counts of failing to ensure premises are evacuable, contrary articles 14(2)(b)

The case was adjourned and sentence was passed on 3 May. Mr. Singh was ordered to pay costs totalling £10,053.44.  £1000 of the costs was ordered to be paid within 14 days and the remaining amount has to be paid within 9 months.