The owner of a Milton Keynes HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) and her husband have been fined £27,485.08 for serious fire safety breaches. Mrs Mahin Begum Choudhury and her husband, Mr Ajjequr Rahman Irshad, were given the order in Milton Keynes Magistrates Court during sentencing on the 10th of July, after having previously pleaded guilty to ten charges apiece.

The charges, relating to offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005, are in regard to their failures in taking adequate fire safety precautions at their Ferndale, Eaglestone premises. The charges were brought by Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority, after officers carried out an inspection in September 2014, following a complaint from housing officers from Milton Keynes Council, and found a number of serious and significant contraventions of regulations pertaining to fire safety.

The court learned that the contraventions were of such a serious nature that the inspecting officers put forth immediate interim fire safety measures, as the alternative to having the use of the premises restricted by a prohibition notice. The contraventions included fire escape routes being inadequately protected, a fire warning system being inadequate, and no emergency lighting, firefighting equipment or even fire risk assessment.

Parts of the premises had also been let by the defendants to sleeping guests, in spite of the lack of adequate fire safety precautions, placing lives at risk. Milton Keynes’ head of fire safety enforcement, Station Commander Ian Wilson, said the heavy fines demonstrate that following fire safety legislation is not an optional matter.

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