LANDLORD IN COURT FOR RISKING STUDENTS' LIVES
Jon Pritchard, writing in the Nottingham Post reports ...
A landlord and his property company have admitted breaching fire regulations and risking the lives of students in Nottingham.
Robert Singh, who is the director of Nottingham Student Lettings, admitted the five charges at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday.
The company had opened the doors to its student homes on 32/34 Castle Gate too early, the court heard, meaning some fire safety regulations were not in place.
Ben Mills, defending, admitted the charges on behalf of the company. They included failing to carry out a risk assessment, failing to ensure the premises was equipped with appropriate fire detectors and alarms and failing to ensure the premises could be evacuated as quickly and as safely as possible.
The final two charges were failing to comply with an enforcement notice, and breaching a prohibition notice, when four people were still living in the East Wing of the building, despite not being allowed in September 2013.
The charges also said residents could have been at risk of serious injury or even death if there was a fire.
Bernard Thorogood, prosecuting, said: "The failings were gross, all the more so in light of the defendants' experience in managing residential properties.
"There was a clear commercial benefit to the premises opening, and it in fact opened in an unsafe condition."
Mr Mills said: "These failings arrive because of negligence and oversight rather than conscious thought."
Mr Singh, 50, of Derby Road, Annesley, is due to appear at the court again on November 20.
He was granted unconditional bail.