A former firefighter turned landlord who was fined for putting his tenants’ lives in danger has admitted he had not visited the ‘disgusting’ property in Liverpool for two years.
Adrian Webb and his wife Lynn rented out the flats, which had no fire alarms or fire doors, in a converted house in Walton.
They were last month each fined £8,000 by Liverpool magistrates after they failed to comply with prohibition orders banning anyone from living in the property until the problems were fixed.
Webb and his wife started their property business 12 years ago after he gave up his job with Merseyside Fire Service.
He admitted it was his responsibility to ensure the flats were not in the ‘disgusting’ condition in which they were found by officers from Liverpool City Council when they first inspected in July last year, but said he was not aware of the state they were in.
He also said new measures were being put in place to ensure the flats were up to current fire regulations.
The 51-year-old, of Rainhill, told the Liverpool Echo: “I personally think it had fire doors and thought it came up to fire regulations and had a means of escape.
“As a fireman all those years ago, fire risk assessments have changed dramatically, but there’s no excuses.
“I’ve made a mistake. I’ve not gone down and checked what’s going on in that particular property.
“I’m now putting in place a management structure to oversee that.”
On top of finding the flats had no fire alarms or fire doors, council officers also found rooms riddled with damp, a lack of handrails to staircases, no adequate heating, and a collapsed ceiling due to a water leak that had gone unfixed.
They also found there were key operated locks to exit doors and that kitchens were poorly laid out and unsafe, with electric cables trailing across the floor.