Mr Robert Singh, admitted to a number of breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order. Mr Singh, the director of Nottingham Student Lettings was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £40,000 following a prosecution by the fire service.
He has also been sentenced to three months in jail suspended for 12 months. The offences included failing to comply with two enforcement notices issued by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Services in October 2013.
The court found that, despite being allowed an extended compliance period until March 2014, Mr Singh failed to provide a fire risk assessment for the premises, adequate means of escape, fire detection or emergency lighting and appropriate fire training for his staff.
In addition, smoke alarms were capped off, electrical wiring was exposed and the only exit route out of the building was via a staircase with an industrial laundry on one of its landings.
Station Manager Tom Clark, of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Fire Protection Investigation Team, said: “The city of Nottingham is reliant on its businesses and student population for its economy, and naturally we want everyone who lives, works, studies and visits here to be able to do so with the knowledge that our city is safe.
“Regrettably, not only did Mr Singh put the young people living at his property at serious risk in the event of a fire, he refused to follow the advice of Fire Inspection Officers in how he could make the appropriate improvements to remove the risks, and meet current fire safety legislation.
“There are a great many responsible and conscientious business owners who work hard to ensure they meet the relevant legal requirements, and that their staff and members of the public safe from fire.
“We are committed to working alongside any business to help them maintain this; however, when businesses fail to take notice of their legal obligations and the advice of the fire and rescue service, we will, as a last resort, take legal action against them.”