Landlords in Liverpool are being reminded to make sure their rental properties are fire safe after Liverpool City Council took action over three bedsits which were deemed to be a ‘serious’ fire risk for tenants.
The accommodation in this case was above a commercial premises in Toxeth, where council officers uncovered a variety of hazards.
The property had been poorly converted into eight bedsits, none of which were licensed.
Fire doors at the four storey building were broken with missing self-closers, and there were exposed electric meters in communal areas which increased the risk of spread from a fire.
At the property, there was also damage to the walls and ceilings within the bedsits and the means of escape, allowing for the fast passage of smoke and fire.
As well as this, there were illegally connected internal soil pipes taking waste from the top floor bedsits which ran down the main stairs and were the only means of escape from the building.
Further inspection found dangerous layouts with inner rooms meaning tenants would have to escape through the kitchen area to get out of the property and cookers were located in dangerous positions within the bedsits.
Councillor Frank Hont, Cabinet member for housing, said: “It is absolutely shocking that any landlord would think that it is acceptable to allow people to live in these conditions.
“This house was a potential death trap and was putting tenants at serious risk of injury, or even death. We used our powers under Landlord Licensing to inspect it and secured a closure order. We are determined to drive up the standard of private rented accommodation in this city and will not hesitate to take action when we find landlords putting their tenants at risk.”
Three of the bedsits were occupied and works were ongoing to the remaining five.
Due to the serious risk of imminent harm to the occupiers, the council had no option but to shut down the property with immediate effect.