A Nottingham couple have been prosecuted after failing to apply for a Houses of Multiple Occupancy licence for their rental property on Maples Street in Hyson Green.

The case against Mr Younis Nazir and Mrs Kaneez Akbar (also known as aka Mrs Nazir) was heard at Nottingham magistrate’s court on the 10th of December 2012, where the couple pleaded guilty to failure to apply for a Houses of Multiple Occupancy licence for a student property as well as failing to respond to a notice requiring certain information about the house in multiple occupation (HMO) and its tenants.

Nazir and Akbar were ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £4,628.90.

After a lengthy investigation by the Houses in Multiple Occupation Team from Police & Council Partnership, Community Protection, the property in Maples Street was found to be occupied by five students, that the property was not licensed under the Housing Act 2004 and that no licence had been applied for. This constitutes a criminal offence under the Housing Act 2004.

HMO licence legislation ensures that safety checks are undertaken at the property such as gas and electrical safety and that written tenancy agreements are in place. The licence also ensures that the licence holder and manager of the property are ‘fit and proper’ and that the property is being managed properly. If these measures are not put in place, the council can refuse a licence.

The HMO team will now be processing the licence application and undertaking an assessment of the owners, as part of the licensing process.

Cllr David Liversidge, Portfolio Holder for Housing, Adults and Community Sector said: “Obtaining a licence for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) has been a requirement under the Housing Act 2004 since April 2006. HMOs that need to be licensed are those comprising three or more storeys with five or more persons in two or more households. The maximum fine for failing to obtain a licence is £20,000. The consequence is that these people have been prosecuted and faced this financial penalty as well as damage to their reputation.”

[Nottingham  City Council Press Release, 21 December 2012]