Landlords warned over safety

IPSWICH landlords are today being warned to do their bit to save lives or face legal action. Ipswich Borough Council is urging landlords of bedsits to get in touch before they rent out properties.

IPSWICH landlords are today being warned to do their bit to save lives or face legal action.

Ipswich Borough Council is urging landlords of bedsits to get in touch before they rent out properties.

The council's senior environmental health officer Mark Preston said private landlords are often unaware of the legal requirements that need to be met before rooms can be let.

He said: "We want to highlight what landlords need to do if they want to rent out a multiple occupancy property.


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"We are trying to save people's lives, you are more likely to die in a fire in this type of property than in any other."

Mr Preston warned that landlords that properties should contain sprinkler systems, self closing doors with cold smoke seals, a fire alarm system and fire blanket in the kitchen.

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The move comes after the first prosecution by the council of a landlord.

In April 2003 the council ordered Guvinder Singh, 34, of Woodbridge Road, to make repairs on a property he rented as bedsits on Bramford Road.

On July 14 this year Mr Singh pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a repair notice issued by the council and was fined £1,500, with £200 costs, by magistrates.

Mr Preston said the council has wide ranging powers to bring properties up to standard.

He said: "We can do the work ourselves then bill the landlord. We have rights of entry to investigate and we will prosecute if we have to."

The council is urging landlords to contact them before they rent out properties.

Mr Preston said: "We want to build a good rapport with landlords. We can give grants and give help and guidance, which is better than an enforcement notice.

"Nationally there has been an increase in rented accommodation but there is a naivety about what is required and what is needed and expected of landlords."

On October 19 the council is holding a forum for landlords to give advice and information on how to comply with current legislation and regulations.

For further information about the forum contact the environmental health team on 01473 433030. Tenants with any concerns about their rented accommodation can also call the team on the same number.

N What do you think should be done to ensure landlords fulfil their safety obligations? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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