22 July 2014

A Nottingham landlord has been fined £3192 for breaching a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) licence.

The licence, which was issued to Permjit Balvinder Kaur, prevented the use of the cellar as a lounge as it did not have any means of escape in the event of a fire.

The licence also limited the number of occupants in the Nottingham house to six. An investigation by the environmental health HMO team at Community Protection found seven people living in the premises and that the cellar was still being used as a lounge.

Mrs Kaur admitted the breaches at Nottingham Magistrates Court and was ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £3,192.

Councillor Dave Liversidge, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, commented: “Every citizen has the right to live in a safe and healthy home; this is a priority for Nottingham City Council. Just one of the ways of ensuring their safety is tackling landlords who provide unsafe or substandard accommodation.”

Duncan Newbutt, Operations Manager for the HMO team at Community Protection, added: “This is the first prosecution in Nottingham for the breach of licence conditions and is a direct result of the continual hard work of the HMO team here at Community Protection.  The team also proactively inspect HMOs to check on compliance to licence conditions as part of the regular work delivered by this team.”

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.