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Landlord sentenced to community service
joint prosecution by Scarborough Borough Council and North
Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, a Scarborough landlord has been
sentenced to 100 hours Community Service at York Crown Court.
The sentence was imposed on
Laszlo Banky, 51, of Castle Road, for a number of fire safety
offences under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and
for failing to licence a house in multiple occupation (HMO) under
the Housing Act 2004.
The prosecution was brought
after a joint inspection of a property owned by the
defendant in the North Marine Road area of Scarborough by
environmental health and fire safety officers.
The property was found to be
a high risk HMO and have a number of serious hazards relating to
fire and dangerous electrics. Due to the serious nature of the
hazards and to protect the occupiers, Scarborough Borough Council
took action to close the property with immediate effect and provide
emergency accommodation to the tenants.
Both prosecuting agencies
have been keen to point out that the judge could have imposed a
much harsher sentence, namely an unlimited fine and/or up to two
years in prison.
The judge expressed how
serious she considered the offence. However, she imposed the lesser
sentence due to a number of mitigating circumstances including an
early guilty plea, which had been submitted at a previous hearing
at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court.
Station Manager Richard
Hanley from North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service said: “The
fire service does not take the decision to prosecute lightly.
However, the risk to the occupiers of this building was very high
with an almost total lack of fire precautions, obstructed escape
routes and a number of issues that would increase the risk of
serious injury or death in case of fire.”
Andy Skelton, Head of
Environmental Services at Scarborough Borough Council added: “We
will continue to work with the fire service to protect vulnerable
tenants and to ensure that landlords carry out their legal
"We always attempt to work
with landlords, however in cases where lives have been recklessly
put at risk we will not hesitate to take firm enforcement
"In this particular case,
the nature of the offences was serious enough to warrant a much
greater sentence and landlords should not take this warning
High risk houses in multiple
occupation are properties that consist of three storeys or more,
are occupied by five or more persons in two or more separate
households that share facilities. Under the Housing Act 2004
properties of this type are required to hold a licence. For more
information, contact Scarborough Borough Council’s Housing team on
The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is running seminars
throughout 2011, aimed at assisting people to understand their
responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order
2005. Scarborough’s seminar will be in February and people can
register their interest by sending an email to: