Tonyrefail Landlord ordered to pay over £5,000 by Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates

Tonyrefail Landlord ordered to pay over £5,000 by Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates

Mr. Matthew Farr of the Boars Head Hotel was ordered to pay the sum of £5426.04 for failing to respond to information requests made by South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority (SWFRA) relating to breaches of fire safety within the property.

In February 2018, Business Fire Safety Officers from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) conducted an inspection at The Boars Head Hotel High Street Tonyrefail to which Mr. Farr is the current landlord. The inspection identified inadequate fire safety provisions at the premises which resulted in a Prohibition Notice being issued under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 preventing the premises from being used as a place of public assembly. An Enforcement Notice was also served detailing the necessary remedial work required to make the premises safe.

An investigation was undertaken by officers of SWFRS’ compliance team where Mr. Matthew Farr was identified as the licensee of the premises. Throughout the investigation requests were made for information relating to the fire safety provisions within the premises. These requests were continually ignored and SWFRA had no option but to pursue the matter through the courts.

Mr Farr was subsequently summoned to attend Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates Court on 7th November 2018.  Mr. Justin Davies, of Hugh James, Cardiff, acting on behalf of South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority laid out the case against the defendant. Mr. Farr failed to attend court on this date and was found guilty, in his absence, of three offences under Article 27 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Mr. Farr was fined £750 in respect of each offence and ordered to pay full costs to the Fire Authority of £3176.04.

This fine could have been avoided if Mr Farr had simply responded with the required information to South Wales Fire and Rescue Service. The investigation into the fire safety contraventions is still ongoing.

Owen Jayne, Group Manager Head of  Business Fire Safety Department for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said, “Our role is to enforce fire safety legislation in premises that fall within the scope of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 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, SWFRS made every effort to attain basic information from the responsible person to enable us to follow legal protocols to no avail.

“The court viewed this matter to be so serious that they found the defendant guilty and imposed the fine. 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.”

For more information about the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, its impact on your business and how SWFRS’ Business Fire Safety department can work with your business, visit www.southwales-fire.gov.uk