Landlord jailed after putting ‘lives and safety of residents and employees at risk’

April 9, 2024

A landlord has been jailed after she “put the lives and safety of residents and employees at risk” by failing to comply with fire safety regulations.

Angela Chang admitted six breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (the Order) after pictures showed properties filled with rubbish and old mattresses which would have prevented her tenants from leaving the building safely.

Flats at the Great Fortune House, at Victoria Road West, and St Georges Lane in Thornton-Cleveleys in Lancashire were issued with the prohibition notice after being inspected by safety officers from the fire service.

The flats were occupied at the time by several employees of the Great Fortune House, a family of three and a builder undertaking work on the premises.

Alongside the mattresses and rubbish Lancashire Fire and Rescue (LFRS) Officers found the flats were also not equipped with appropriate fire detectors and alarms.

LFRS said the breaches posed a “serious threat to the life and safety of the tenants” and anyone else who may visit the property.

Chang was prosecuted for her failure to comply with the Order and the prohibition notice. She pleaded guilty to all six charges.

Chang was sentenced to three months in prison and ordered to pay £10,414 in costs to LFRS.

Ian Armistead, Protection Department Group Manager for LFRS, said: “Ms Angela Chang is the responsible person for these premises, and as such has a legal duty to ensure that people who use her premises are provided with a safe environment.

“We hope that this prosecution will ensure that the standard of her properties is kept within the requirements of the law.

“In our constant drive to make Lancashire safer, our fire safety enforcement teams are always actively seeking out other dangerous premises.

“We would hope that the outcome of this particular case where a custodial sentence has been issued, sends a clear message that fire safety must always be a priority.

“In this instance the consequences of the inadequate fire safety measures and inadequate management could have led to serious injury or loss of life and circumstances left us with no other option but to take this action.

“Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service will always work with those willing to address fire safety issues and businesses can be assured that we will continue to support them in complying with the Fire Safety Order.

“We would urge landlords and responsible persons who need to take action to comply with fire safety regulations to visit the Business Safety section of our website, which contains advice and guidance on how to comply with your legal duties.”

This is valid as of the 9th April 2024.

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