Jail Time for Landlords After Apartment Fire

Two brothers who own a rental property in Dedham, Massachusetts were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to prison after a fire broke out on the property.

The two men offered a basement apartment for rent that lacked proper egress, and did not have smoke detectors.

Three tenants died when a fire broke out in the unit.

The two landlords were sentenced last week. At the hearing, the prosecutor told the court that through their carelessness, these landlords gambled with the tenants’ lives, according to a local. The men were each sentenced to three years in jail, and three years probation.

The judge presiding over the sentencing noted that the men had taken steps to improve the property, according to the report. The landlords explained that they had inherited many problems, pointing out that the property which had changed hands and then been foreclosed, was falling into disrepair when they acquired it.

The case has prompted local officials to look into tightening building standards, according to the report. Prosecutors say they hope to see stricter penalties, including jail time for landlords who fail to maintain buildings.

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