Rogue Landlord given landmark deterrent fire fine

A rogue landlord who flouted fire and health and safety regulations at two of his properties in the East Midlands has been fined £400,000.

Bijan Keshmiri was found guilty of 28 offences relating to four self-contained flats and a property that had been converted into two self-contained flats in Lincoln. The fine is thought to be the amongst the largest fines ever handed down to an individual landlord in the UK.

Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard that that first building, which Keshmiri used to house 12 tenants, had broken fire detectors, inappropriate locks on fire exits, poorly carried out repairs which increased the risk of fire spread, and a lack of fire separation and protection between flats.

The communal areas and stairwell had no emergency lighting and the standard lighting on the ground-, first- and second-floor staircases and landings did not work.

At the second property, where six people lived, fire exit doors were sealed shut, there was no smoke alarms in one of the flats and no fire blanket was provided. The flats were also unhygienic with mould throughout.

In summing up the sentencing the judge noted that the seriousness of the offences had led him to impose such as large fine in order to deter other rogue landlords from ignoring the safety of their tenants.