April 9th, 2020 by James Goudie KC

In Sutton v Norwich City Council (2020) UKUT 90 (LC) a company and its director appealed against financial penalties and a prohibition order imposed on them by a local authority. The lengthy Judgment considers a range of questions: whether a building was within the ambit of the HMO; whether improvement notices were valid; the power to penalise a director of a company; whether the individual was the manager of the building for the purposes of the HMO Regulations; what may constitute a reasonable excuse for non- compliance; the correct approach to penalty; quantum for breaches of the Regulations; quantum for non-compliance with improvement notices; and the validity of a prohibition notice. The authority was found to have applied its policy in a way that imposed disproportionate penalties without proper consideration of the facts.

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