A NEWPORT landlord was ordered to pay more than £13,000 after being found guilty of a series of offences relating to fire safety.

Lewis Marshall, of Chepstow Road, Newport did not attend Cwmbran Magistrates' Court and was found guilty of seven offences relating to article 32 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in his absence.

The case against Marshall was compiled by South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority (SWFRA) who had sent information requests regarding two properties in his ownership – 58 and 60 Chepstow Road.

In July 2015, business fire safety officers from SWFRS conducted inspections at both premises which are three storey houses converted into self-contained flats.

The inspections identified inadequate fire safety provisions at both premises which resulted in a Prohibition Notice being issued to number 58.

Additionally, an Enforcement Notice was served on 60 Chepstow Road, detailing the necessary work required to make the premises safe.

In an attempt to identify the responsible person, an investigation was undertaken by officers from SWFRS’ compliance team and Marshall was identified as the owner of both the premises.

Mr. Marshall was fined £1,000 in respect of each offence and ordered to pay full costs to the Fire Authority of £6,009.07. He was also ordered to pay a surcharge of £100.

Owen Jayne, group manager within the Business Fire Safety Department for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Our role is to enforce fire safety legislation in premises and ensure that these premises are safe.

“We do this by working with businesses and landlords across South Wales to support them to protect their business from risk. In this instance, we went out of our way to seek out basic information to enable us to follow legal protocols.

“The court viewed this matter to be so serious they imposed the maximum fine possible. As you can see in this case, the fines and costs received are solely attributed to the failure to provide information.

“This is a clear message to landlords and members of the business community that they need to respond to formal requests made by the Fire and Rescue Service."