A Swindon businessman has had to pay nearly £6,000 after failing to license a house he lets in the town.

Swindon Balti owner Malik Buksh admitted breaching the law on a house in multiple occupation in Cricklade Road.

He was prosecuted by Swindon Council at court and ordered to pay £5,996.95 – made up of a fine, and investigation and legal fees.

Under the Housing Act 2004, a HMO licence is required from the local authority when a property is rented by five or more people, not from the same household.

Landlords of such properties are required to have a HMO licence to make sure they meet the same national and local standards for fire safety, management, amenity and safety.

Council cabinet member for housing and public safety Councillor Cathy Martyn said: “It’s a criminal offence to operate a licensable HMO without the correct licence in place. HMO licences ensure that the buildings are safe and suitable so, for example, that they meet the requirements for appropriate fire detection, adequate heating, washing facilities and amenities and remain well managed.

“The council’s Healthy Neighbourhoods Team would always prefer that if they are unsure, landlords ask them for guidance and advice. If landlords do not comply with the rules, then the council will pursue action for non-compliance.”

Landlords who have questions about whether or not they should be licensing a HMO, or whether their HMO complies with the rules, should visit http://ow.ly/H3Nq50FLCCi

Tenants living in a house of multiple occupation concerned about the conditions they are living in can find information on the council website at http://ow.ly/1Kt550FLCCj

There was no answer at Mr Buksh’s business when the Adver called today.