Great Yarmouth landlord fined £8,000 for running former hotel as an illegal house

Petros Mouzourou has pleaded guilty to running the former Europa Hotel as an illegal HMO. Picture: J

Petros Mouzourou has pleaded guilty to running the former Europa Hotel as an illegal HMO. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A landlord has been given a huge court bill for running the former Europa hotel in Great Yarmouth as an illegal house.

Petros Mouzourou, 64, of Camperdown, Great Yarmouth, pleaded guilty at Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court to operating the without a HMO licence.

He also pleaded guilty to not responding to a request for information notice, which related to him failing to provide a copy of his lease to the borough council.

A property is defined as a licensable HMO if it is rented to five or more people who form more than one household, and it is at least three storeys high, and tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities.

On August 4 last year, borough council officers and the police visited the building on Marine Parade, which was occupied in nine rooms, across three storeys by at least ten people.

The accommodation was also found to be in a poor condition.

During a previous visit by the borough council in 2011, when the house was occupied by four people, Petros Mouzourou, had been advised that he would be required to apply for a licence if there were a greater number of occupants.

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At the court case which was held earlier this month, he was fined a total of £8,000 and told to pay costs of £1650.78 plus a £120 victim surcharge.

Cllr Carl Smith, the cabinet member for environment, said: 'Running a HMO can be a lucrative business and the borough council expects landlords and HMO managers to always comply with the law, especially when, as in this case, they have been given specific advice.

'Mr Mouzourou should have listened to the borough council and applied for a licence if he wished to run a licensable HMO. This would have cost a fraction of the court bill of nearly £10,000, which he now has to pay.'

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