On 23 January 2018 Mr Robi Miah of Luton, Bedfordshire was convicted of twelve counts of the criminal offence of misusing the title ‘Architect’. Luton Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Miah practised under the name ‘Mia Architects’ despite not being registered with the Architects Registration Board, in breach of section 20 Architects Act 1997.
Mr Miah, who also practices under the name Rob Mia, had used a variety of sources to advertise the title, submitted a number of planning applications and continued to misuse the title while ignoring ARB’s numerous warnings. He had also stated that he was registered with ARB when he was not. Part of ARB’s evidence included previous assurances from Mr Miah that he would to stop calling himself an architect.
Luton Magistrates’ Court took the view that these were serious and aggravated breaches and, even taking into account Mr Miah’s guilty plea, imposed a fine of £23,700 with a further £5,825 in costs and surcharges making a total of £29,525.
Simon Howard, ARB’s Head of Professional Standards said:
‘Mr Miah chose to ignore the law by practising as ‘an architect’ and the Court chose to protect the public by imposing a record fine. The level of fine should act as a warning to those who try to gain benefit by misleading the public into thinking they are architects when they are not. Anyone wishing to use the services of a genuine architect should check the Register of Architects at www.architects-register.org.uk’
Notes for Editors
ARB is the statutory body established by Parliament under the Architects Act 1997 to regulate the UK architects’ profession in the public interest. The Act requires ARB (among other things) to:
• Maintain the Register of Architects (Section 3)
• Prescribe qualifications for entry to the Register of Architects (Section 4)
• Deal with competence to practise (Section 9)
• Issue a Code which lays down standards of professional conduct and practice (Section 13)
• Regulate use of the title “architect” and prosecute those who use it unlawfully (Section 20)
ARB has a Board of 15 members, seven of whom are architects elected by the profession. The remaining eight are members of the public appointed by the Privy Council to represent the interests of consumers and users of architectural services.
The maximum fine for each offence, currently £2500, is set by the Architects Act 1997. Magistrates determine the amount of the fine (and related costs) after considering the nature of the offence and any mitigation put forward by the defendant. Money raised from fines is paid to HM Treasury, not to ARB.
For further information, please contact Simon Howard, Head of Professional Standards, on 020 7580 5861 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.