HMO landlords and their managing agents could face unlimited fines following new measures revealed by the Home Office today.

It says, once legislation is in place, the unlimited fines will be handed out to building owners who are caught obstructing or impersonating a fire inspector as well as to those who breach fire safety regulations under the soon-to-be upgraded Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 legislation.

This excludes domestic properties but includes HMOs and some other multi-tenancy residential properties.

The announcement follows a consultation that began in July last year prompted by the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the results of which will be incorporated into the Building Safety Bill.

As well as unlimited fines, these measures will include mandatory fire risk assessments to be recorded for each building and improvements to how fire safety information is communicated to regulatory authorities throughout the lifetime of a building.

HMO landlords and agents will have to up their game; the new measures include improving the quality of fire risk assessments and competence of those who complete them.

Read more about the existing Fire Safety Order regulations.

Also, the government is to strengthen the guidance issued under the Fire Safety Order so that failure to follow it may be considered in court proceedings as evidence of a breach or of compliance. 

lord greenhalgh

“Everyone should be safe in the buildings where they live, stay or work,” says Fire Minister Lord Greenhalgh (pictured).

“Our new measures will improve fire safety and help save lives, but will also take firm action against those who fail in their duty to keep people safe.”

Read the government’s consultation response.

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