Should landlords have the right to refuse DSS tenants?10:43 AM, 20th May 2019
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The landlord of a shared house where a mum and her three-year-old daughter died in an arson attack may face jail for ignoring fire safety laws.
They died when a spurned girlfriend set light to her former boyfriend’s room in an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Milton Keynes last year.
The landlord, Lookman Adeyemi admitted three charges of flouting fire safety, while a not guilty plea to not fitting emergency lighting was accepted by Justice Lord Parmoor at Amersham Crown Court.
Adeyemi was released on unconditional bail until sentencing on March 29.
Barbara Zhanje is serving a 12-year sentence for arson and manslaughter in relation to the fire.
Meanwhile, in a separate case, another landlord was fined £10,000 for fire safety breaches in a Cambridge HMO following a blaze which killed a tenant last year.
A coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death in the case of chef Graham Kemp, 27.
After the fire, council inspectors found seven tenants were crammed into a two-storey house that had poor fire alarms and no fire safety doors. Three tenants were sharing one room.
One tenant told the council he paid £550 a month to share a room in the house.
Landlord Darius Valiulis, 45, told the council it was not his property and failed to provide any tenancy agreements.
Cambridge magistrates found him guilty of failing to provide the information, fire safety breaches, renting an overcrowded home and not testing electrical equipment.
Valiulis was fined £2,000 on each charge and ordered to pay costs of £6,100.
“This is the first time we have taken anyone to court over the management of homes of multiple occupancy regulation,” said a Cambridge City Council spokesman.
“There are about 5,000 such homes in Cambridge so this should be a strong message to those who own homes which they rent out.”
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