Fire Safety Prosecution

Kent landlord found guilty of endangering young family through lack of fire safety

A landlord in Folkestone, Kent, has been handed a £5,000 fine after being found to have provided accommodation to a young family without means of escape in an emergency. Mr Jack Kensell was found guilty of putting the family at risk of harm in when he attended court.

The one bedroom ground floor flat includes a large storage area in the basement, which Mr Kensell was banned from using as living accommodation because of the lack of an emergency escape.

The prohibition was served by Shepway District Council following a complaint from a previous tenant. However, young family moved into the flat, unaware of the restrictions as the owner didn’t inform them. They contacted the local council about damp at the property and the authority advised the tenants of the risks of living in the basement.

Mr Kensell received a £5,000 fine and was ordered to pay £4,111.04 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

Councillor Alan Ewart-James, cabinet member for housing, said: “Landlords have a responsibility to keep their tenants safe. Our Private Sector Housing Team can help tenants and landlords achieve this. Many issues can be resolved outside of the courts but we will prosecute if landlords persist in putting their tenants in danger.”

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Emma Trafford
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