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£34,000 in fines for two landlords who failed to licence HMOs

Two landlords of HMOs have been prosecuted for failing to license their properties - and now have to pay fines of £34,000.

Sarah Jordan, the landlord of a Brighton & Hove property, was fined a city record £20,000 for an unlicensed HMO with £750 costs.

After multiple attempts to avoid licensing, Gagandeep Sethi, who owns a property in the same council area, was prosecuted and fined £14,000 with £750 costs. 

Both were ordered to pay a criminal courts charge of £150 and £120 Victim Surcharge.

Cllr Anne Meadows, chair of the housing and new homes committee at Brighton City Council, said: “This sends out a strong message that landlords of shared homes or houses in multiple occupation should licence their properties where a licence is required. The worst HMOs are some of the most dangerous properties so it’s right that we take action to protect our residents.

“Under HMO licensing we have seen hundreds of HMOs fitted with fire alarms, made safer generally and better managed. As part of the licensing process we inspect the houses and that allows us to ensure that they are safe.

“I am pleased that in imposing this level of fines the court has reflected the importance of licensing and that owners should not seek to avoid applying. We will continue to take action against those who do not apply so I would urge all owners and agents to ensure that they and their properties meet legal requirements.”

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