08 December 2014
A landlord with a number of properties who failed to apply for House in Multiple Occupation licences at four sites in Selly Oak has been fined at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.
Inderjit Singh Panesar of Solihull and his business, JPS Properties UK Ltd, were fined more than £8000 for not having the licences for the properties in which 25 student tenants were living.
Birmingham’s cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor John Cotton, said: “We were unable to ensure that the properties complied with national regulations and he (Mr Panesar) could have put his tenants at risk.”
Cllr Cotton continued: “I want to assure tenants across the city that we will prosecute landlords who break the law.I would also urge landlords who are unsure of the licensing requirements to contact the council immediately.”
Details of the HMO requirements are posted on the Birmingham City Council website.
There has been a requirement to license houses of three storeys or more, occupied by five or more tenants in two or more households, who share an amenity such as a bathroom or kitchen, for the past eight years.
Before a licence is issued, the local authority will check requirements including fire safety precautions and means of escape.
Research has shown that for some HMOs the risk of death from fire is substantially increased.
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.