Unfit bedsits closed down due to fire risk

Liverpool City Council’s Landlord Licensing team have closed down three bedsits which were a serious fire risk for tenants. 

Acting on intelligence received about accommodation above commercial premises in Lodge Lane, Toxeth, officers uncovered a catalogue of hazards.

They found that the property had in fact been poorly converted into eight bedsits, all of which were unlicensed.

The four storey building had no fire precautions to protect the tenants should a blaze break out, including:

• Broken fire doors with missing self-closers

• Damage to walls and ceilings within the bedsits and the means of escape, allowing for the fast passage of smoke and fire

• Exposed electric meters in communal areas increasing the risk of spread from fire

• 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 of 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.

It is the latest action in the council’s ongoing crackdown to drive up standards in private sector rented accommodation and deal with rogue landlords.