Amy Lyne

Unlicensed Gatton boarding house fined $10 000

The operators of an unlicensed Gatton boarding house were fined $10 000 in the Gatton Magistrates Court on Monday.

Operator Rodem Tree Pty Ltd failed to appear in court after they were charged with one count of failing to comply with requisition by commission to reduce fire risk, two counts of failing to display sign in accommodation units and six counts of failing to maintain prescribed fire safety installation.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Senior Legal Officer Paul Enders said the two-storey brick and timber house was inspected by fire officers on April 18.

The house was found to have nine persons living in the premises with no hard-wired smoke alarms, no emergency lighting system, incorrect door knobs and no evacuation signage.

Because the accommodation unit-style house had more than six persons living in it, it must abide by rules set by the Queensland Development Code.

Mr Enders said the premises were not set up to allow emergency evacuations.

Rodem Tree were told they were to comply with the rules or cease operations.

On May 13 the house was again inspected, well after the deadline they were given to comply, and inspectors found nothing had changed.

Mr Enders said they had not tried to do anything at the house.

He said the defendant was quite happy to take their tenants money but were not willing to spend it to ensure their safety.

QFES said they had monitored the building throughout the legal process with observations indicating it is still operating.

The building was brought to the attention of the QFES via a complaint.

QFES are aware of only one person involved in the issue.

The house will be inspected in the near future.

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