Landlord hit with record fine for licence breach

by Christopher Evans

A landlord has been hit with a record fine after failing to obtain a house in multiple occupation (HMO) licence.

Mr Warwick Armsby-Ward pleaded guilty to the offence at Brighton Magistrates Court and was ordered to pay £2,000 as well as £750 in legal costs.

He was also found to be in breach of fire safety regulations.

During an inspection of the landlord's pub Heist Bar, officers from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service found five people living above the property.

For this to be legal, an HMO licence would have had to be obtained.

Maria Caulfield from Brighton and Hove City Council said more than 800 landlords are currently signed up to the authority's HMO licensing scheme.

She insisted that the council will work with new landlords who are genuinely unaware of the rules on HMOs.

However, she added: "We will prosecute those whose properties are dangerous or who might think that they can wait for the council to find them before applying to be licensed."

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Published on: September 29, 2010

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