A landlord with as many as nineteen North East Lincolnshire properties has been accused of lying to police and operating as a “penny pinching profiteer”. The 53 year old faces prison after putting his tenants lives at risk, by failing to fulfil his responsibilities and have a fire risk assessment performed on his property.

Grimsby Crown Court learned that on 22nd of June 2014, fire alarms failed to activate when a fire blazed through a multiple-occupancy property, located in Bursar Street in Cleethorpes, at around midnight. Tenants were forced to run for their lives with one resident having to bang on his neighbours’ doors in order to warn them about the dangerous blaze. The court learned that had any of the tenants been heavy sleepers they could well have died in the fire.

The owner of the property, Keith Newsum, admitted not only to failing to have a sufficient fire risk assessment taken place on the property, and failing to equip it with appropriate fire alarms and detectors, but also to failing to take even basic fire precautions. At the time, Newsum told police that a fire door was open in the building – while the prosecution alleges it had been kept locked for the previous four years.

Newsum has since received professional advice on fire risks on his other properties. All landlords of multiple occupancy properties must ensure fire safety on those properties, and have fire risk assessments carried out by professionals; contact us at Source Fire for more information about assessments.