Horror house landlord receives record fine

In the week that Germany crash out of the World Cup, a Lincoln landlord is likely to be feeling the same sinking feeling, after being hit with a £400,000 fine – one of the largest ever handed out to a private landlord - and with good reason.

Bijan Keshmiri’s problems aren’t down to poor form on the football field though, rather a series of inexcusable failings in complying with health and safety and fire standards in two of his properties, both of which where converted into flats.

Lincoln Magistrates Court heard how Keshmiri continually failed to comply with orders on 28 serious offences identified by the City of Lincoln Council. The offences related to four self-contained flats in one building which was home to twelve tenants, and two self-contained flats in another building which was home to six people.

The court heard how a number of serious safety breaches had been identified within the first, larger building, including:

  • Broken smoke detectors
  • Inappropriate locks on fire exits
  • Poor repairs which could increase the spread of fire
  • Lack of fire separation and protection between flats
  • No emergency lighting in communal areas or the stairwell
  • Evidence of poorly maintained shared living areas
  • Risk of electrocution in first floor flat (from a light)
  • Multiple windows with low sills having broken latches or no opening restrictors on the top floor flats.
  • On the third-floor flat, a hot water supply tank was not sealed with a lid
  • Lighting on staircases didn’t work
  • Lack of secondary lighting

The second property was far smaller, although still housed its fair share of maintenance horrors. Including:

  • Doors sealed shut preventing fire exits
  • A lack of fire separation between rooms
  • No smoke alarms in the ground floor flat
  • No fire blanket in the kitchen
  • Black mould throughout the property

This prosecution sends out a clear signal that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated in our city. It’s pleasing to see justice has been served against this offender who has, time and time again, exploited his tenants by making them live in appalling conditions, surrounded by many fire and health hazards. Many landlords in Lincoln offer properties of a high standard, but to those who don’t, we hope that a fine of this scale will deter them from putting their tenants in such danger.

Cllr Ric Metcalfe, leader of City of Lincoln Council

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