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HMO managers face unlimited fines if they break new fire safety rules

Home Office says landlords or responsible persons will fall under the remit of the new Fire Safety Order, which follows the Grenfell tragedy.

Nigel Lewis

home office fire safety

The Home Office has confirmed that both landlords and ‘responsible persons’ in charge of HMOs will face unlimited fines under new fire safety measures revealed yesterday.

Its spokesperson told The Negotiator that this would include property managers and agents nominated as ‘responsible persons’.

All these players will face the unlimited fines if they are caught obstructing or impersonating a fire inspector as well as to those who breach regulations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 legislation, the new Home Office measures propose.

These follow a consultation prompted by the Grenfell Tower fire. The Home Office measures that have followed the consultation will now be included in the Building Safety Bill.

Fire risk

Other measures include mandatory risk assessments to be recorded for each building, improvements to how safety information is about a property is collated and improvements to the quality of risk assessments and the competence of those who complete them.

The Home Office also wants to strengthen the guidance issued under the Fire Safety Order so that failure to comply can be used in court proceedings as evidence of a  compliance breach.

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

“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.”

wilshireRoy Wilsher, National Fire Chiefs Council Chair (pictured), says: “Ultimately, we want to see safer buildings for residents and are committed to working constructively with the Home Office and other partners on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations and other key fire safety policy areas.”

Read more: Shocking ignorance among letting agents about fire safety rules.

March 18, 2021

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