11 Mar 2020

A private landlord has been prosecuted by Bristol City Council for providing private rented accommodation that posed a “serious risk to life”. 

Nine people were found living in cramped conditions in a small flat rented out by rogue landlord Deepak Singh Sachdeva on Avonmouth Road in Bristol, BS11, with two children forced to sleep in cupboards.

Bristol City Council said the accommodation was of “poor structural condition and design”, adding there was “very poor” fire resistant separation between the flat and shop located below. 

Council inspectors also found large gaps around fire doors, offering no protection from potential fire or smoke hazards, and no working fire detection.

The landlord failed to make an appearance at Bristol Magistrates’ Court, but he was found guilty in his absence of five counts of failing to comply with regulations in respect of managing multiple occupants.

Cllr Paul Smith, Bristol City Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “These were some of the worst conditions environmental health officers working in this field have seen.

“The property had been so badly built and managed that the tenants were constantly in serious danger.”

Smith added: “This case is a prime example of a rogue landlord who has put the safety and welfare of tenants at risk and has been rightly convicted and fined for this.

“We are committed to investigating substandard accommodation and bringing landlords or agents that profit illegally from it to justice.”

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