21 Jan 2013

A LANDLORD risked his own tenants’ lives by allowing them to stack furniture on a staircase.

He has now been prosecuted by the city council for failing to keep the fire escape of his Chorlton property clear.

The council decided to take legal action after making a number of visits to Alan Selkirk’s property on Oswald Road.

Manchester Magistrates Court heard that between September and December 2001, Mr Selkirk repeatedly allowed his tenants to keep furniture on the second floor landing of the Victorian house.

The furniture blocked access to the staircase, which was the main means of escape in the event of a fire.

Council officers believed the furniture could have slowed down or even stopped the tenants’ escape in the event of a fire and also hampered access for fire fighters.

Mr Selkirk was found guilty of neglect of management, under the 1985 Housing Act, and was given a 12-month conditional discharge. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,480.

Councillor Basil Curley, executive member for housing, said the council took a very serious view of breaches of regulations relating to tenant safety.

Coun Curley said: “Landlords should ensure their properties are provided with an adequate means of escape in case of fire.”

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