Lib Dems alarmed by council’s failure to fine landlords who break new law

Labour-run Haringey Council has been criticised for failing to take action against landlords who have not installed smoke alarms.

Cllr Liz Morris, Caroline Pidgeon, Cllr Gail Engert and Cllr Dave Beacham outside the Civic Centre in Wood Green

Last year, a new law was introduced requiring landlords to install smoke alarms in rented properties. The law, which came in to force last October, gives local councils the responsibility for checking landlords have installed the alarms. The legislation also gives councils the power to issue fines of up to £5,000 to landlords who fail to install smoke alarms.

Haringey’s Lib Dem Opposition councillors made enquiries and discovered that Haringey’s Labour-run council has not issued any fines or enforcement notices to install fire alarms to any landlords in Haringey since the law came into force.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Labour-run council to enforce the law and keep local residents safe by ensuring landlords install fire alarms.

Fire facts:

  • People living in rented or shared accommodation are seven times more likely to have a fire according to research from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
  • Last year, homes with no smoke alarm accounted for 38% of deaths in residential fires in Great Britain.
  • Last year, no smoke alarm was present in 31% (12,000) of home fires in Great Britain.

Cllr Gail Engert, Haringey Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition, comments:

“The Labour-run council’s failure to fine a single landlord for not installing smoke alarms is very worrying. Fires in residential properties are very dangerous and cause hundreds of deaths and injuries every year. People living in rented or shared accommodation are seven times more likely to have a fire, so it is particularly important that alarms are fitted in rented homes.

“Responsible landlords have already installed fire alarms and the Labour-run council should be taking action against those who have failed to fit smoke alarms. The London Fire Brigade is also offering free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, so there is no excuse for landlords who haven’t fitted an alarm.

“This new law was passed so councils could act against irresponsible landlords and ensure renters live in safe homes with fire alarms. The Labour-run council should be using the powers they have been given, it is over six months since the legislation came into force, they have had plenty of time to act.”

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