An experienced landlord who failed to apply for House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licences for four properties has been fined at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court today (4 December 2014) and has to pay Â£8,420
Inderjit Singh Panesar, Â aged 39, of Mirfield Road in Solihull and his company JPS Properties UK Ltd, Stoney Lane in Birmingham, pleaded guilty to failing to apply for HMO licences for the four properties in Selly Oak, Birmingham which had 25 student tenants between them and was fined Â£5,600 with Â£2,700 costs and a victim surcharge of Â£120.
Birmingham City Councilâ€™s cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr John Cotton, said: â€œMr Panesar and his companyÂ failed to apply to the council for HMO licences for four properties despite being both an experienced businessman and portfolio landlord who would have been well aware of the law.Â This meant that we were unable to ensure that the properties complied with national regulations and he could have put his 25 student tenants at risk.Â I want to assure tenants across the city that we will prosecute landlords who break the law.Â I would also urge landlords who are unsure of the licensing requirements to contact the council immediately.â€
Landlords who are unsure of the licensing requirement should telephone 0121 303 4009 or visit http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/hmo
Since April 2006, 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.
The House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence ensures that management standards and housing conditions in the private rented sector are maintained and includes a requirement for basic safety including gas, electrical and means of escape from fire.
A tenant living in a bedsit house of three or more storeys is almost 17 times more likely to be killed in a fire than an adult living in a similar single-occupancy house (fire risks in HMOs â€“ DETR 1997).
For further media information or to arrange an interview with Cllr Cotton, contact Debbie Harrison on 303 4476
Notes to editors â€“
Failure to obtain a HMO licence for the property carries a maximum fine of Â£20k for each property.
A first application for a HMO licence costs Â£700 – Â£1,150 for up to five years which amounts to a cost to the landlord of less than Â£5 a week.Â The renewal of a licence is at a reduced cost.