The managing agent of a block of flats in London has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay almost £13,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaches of fire safety law.
Douglas and Gordon Ltd pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 at Southwark crown court in June. The leasehold owner of the premises in Gloucester Terrace, Paddington, Atomlynn Ltd, was fined £33,000 after pleading guilty to one offence under the Order and ordered to pay costs of £6,440.
A fire risk assessment had been carried out but the managing agent and leaseholder had failed to act on its significant findings, said London Fire Brigade. These included the failure to make an emergency plan, ensuring that fire doors were self-closing and installing emergency lighting.
Assistant commissioner for fire safety regulation, Steve Turek, said: “London Fire Brigade will continue to take action against managing agents, lease owners or landlords who do not take their fire safety responsibilities seriously. Failure to comply with the law can, as this case has shown, result in a prosecution.”
In a statement issued following the sentence, Douglas and Gordon Ltd (D&G) said:
"D&G and its legal and technical advisors were surprised at the level of the fine as they believed the breaches represented a low level of risk, the avoidance of which is the central criteria for implementing fire precautions under the Order.
"The introduction of the Order has caused difficulties for landlords,
managing agents, consultants and enforcing authorities alike when it
comes to applying the legislation to blocks of flats like Gloucester