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Beds In Sheds Landlord Fined £25,000

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From the Fire Magazine http://www.fire-magazine.com/rogue_beds_in_sheds_landlord_found_guilty_of_fire_safety_offences_25769809383.aspx

Rogue ‘beds in sheds’ landlord found guilty of fire safety offences

News, 31 March 2014.

By Lisa Glover

News

A London landlord who rented out bedsits above a car workshop has been ordered to pay £25,000 in fines and costs for breaking fire safety laws.

The prosecution marks a first for the London Fire Brigade who successfully argued for £5,000 of the ill-gotten gains he received in rent to be confiscated.

Irshad Ibrahim pleaded guilty to 10 offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) Order 2005 and was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court earlier this month.

London Fire Brigade says the LFB case highlights the increasing problem and fire risk of unsuitable buildings being rented out as sleeping accommodation in the capital. Properties such as disused pubs, so-called ‘beds in sheds,’ garages or industrial units are all potentially lethal fire traps as it is inevitable that people living in them will rely on far riskier ways of heating, cooking and lighting.

Serve as a stark warning to landlords

Nick Coombe from London Fire Brigade’s Fire Safety Regulation Management Team, said: “This verdict should serve as a stark warning to landlords who rent out unsafe, unsuitable living conditions to some of the capital’s most vulnerable people. Landlords have a clear responsibility under fire safety laws to ensure that people living and working in their premises are safe from the risk of fire.

If we find people are ignoring these responsibilities we won’t hesitate to prosecute. The sentence handed down in this case shows that the courts take these matters just as seriously as we do.”

During the fire safety inspection, the Brigade identified a number of serious fire safety concerns and issued a prohibition notice preventing the building’s upper floor from being used for sleeping and evacuated the residents.

Concerns raised by fire safety inspectors included wholly inadequate fire separation of the bedsits and only one single escape route from the commercial premises. There was also no fire risk assessment, no fire safety arrangements between the commercial and residential parts and no emergency lighting.

I expect a lot of landlords could get their collars felt by the fire inspector in London.

Edited by Take Me Back To London!

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Finally some good news

Only if you enjoy landlord schadenfreude. Beds in sheds increase supply and helps to keep a lid on rents.

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Only if you enjoy landlord schadenfreude. Beds in sheds increase supply and helps to keep a lid on rents.

True, but homeless people puts pressure onto government to build social housing.

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Only if you enjoy landlord schadenfreude. Beds in sheds increase supply and helps to keep a lid on rents.

I doubt that these death trap beds in sheds are having any effect on rents for the majority in the rented market. Just for those having to resort to "slum class" maybe. Turning London into a third world shanty slum is not the answer. What would make a difference would be lowering the tax payer subsidy of landlords via housing benefit.

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I doubt that these death trap beds in sheds are having any effect on rents for the majority in the rented market. Just for those having to resort to "slum class" maybe. Turning London into a third world shanty slum is not the answer. What would make a difference would be lowering the tax payer subsidy of landlords via housing benefit.

I would suspect that many of those living in such accommodation will be illegals. As such they are not going to complain to anyone in authority, so barring a disaster like a fire, or anyone else reporting it, nobody is going to find out. I would bet that there is hardly ever anyone else such as a letting agent involved and the rent will be strictly cash only. I wonder whether they checked whether this slumlord had been paying tax on his rent?

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Only if you enjoy landlord schadenfreude. Beds in sheds increase supply and helps to keep a lid on rents.

People taking in lodgers would do the same job but in a much better way.

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People taking in lodgers would do the same job but in a much better way.

Lodging isn't suitable for everyone. One of my ideas is to relax permitted development laws to allow caravans to be used as full time separate accommodation within gardens.

The caravans would have to have a safety certificate and there would be a limit to their size and placement, eg no obstruction of neighbours' light, etc. There would also be a placement licence which would have to be reviewed every so often, like a licence to sell alcohol, so that neighbours could object if there was noise etc.

This would mean it would be viable only in larger suburban and semi-rural gardens, making it suitable for priced out young people to live close to relatives instead of cheap accommodation for immigrants. It would also increase the mobility of the workforce.

It would also mean that land rich, cash poor people could get a bit of extra income to help pay the mortgage, thus 'keeping hard working families in their homes'.

Of course, this will never happen; but it's what I would do (below the radar) if I was a young person in the UK nowadays.

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Lodging isn't suitable for everyone. One of my ideas is to relax permitted development laws to allow caravans to be used as full time separate accommodation within gardens.

The sewage aspect of caravans would not be sensible.

The insulation and heating isn't.

The cooking facilities are minimal.

They are not hugely secure.

Fire safety would be a huge concern,

They would be no better off than in shanty town sheds.

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Beds in sheds problem spotted in Oxford.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-27994885

"It's quite hard to identify where these places are but we've estimated there could be several hundred of these 'beds in sheds' around the city."

He said in some streets 10% of the properties had outbuildings "that needed some form of action by the council".


Funding has gone towards using aircraft with thermal imaging to identify the homes. The council is in the process of analysing the data.

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