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Eight offences relating to House of Multiple Occupancy

When officers inspected the property they found six people were staying in one room, and a further three people were also living in two rooms in the loft which had no smoke alarms, fire doors or satisfactory means of escape in the event of a fire.

One person was also found to be living in a room that was not much larger than a single bed, which meant that the door could not open fully. Ms Goldsmith had previously informed the council that she intended to make this room a toilet room.

 

Following the inspection, Herts Fire and Rescue who served a prohibition notice which prohibited the use of the loft rooms sleeping with immediate effect.

The council received a further complaint in December 2016 from a tenant, and it was found that during alteration works to the property a large hole had been made in the wall between the tenant’s room, which she shared with her two children, and that of a neighbouring tenant.

The tenant had positioned a wardrobe over the hole to retain some privacy. The hole was found to be a breach of fire safety regulations because the 30 minutes fire separation between bedrooms had been compromised.

The defendant argued that she was suffering from mental health issues and had significant financial debts, so the council decided it was not in the public’s interest to proceed with the prosecution.

Ms Goldsmith was previously prosecuted under similar offences in July 2014, where total fines and costs amounted to £32,723.
 


  • Date posted:
    02/08/2018
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