Landlord fined for unsafe HMO

Published: Tuesday, 18 April 2023

A landlord has been ordered to pay over £3,000 in fines and costs for operating an unsafe HMO (Houses in multiple occupation) following enforcement action by Havering Council.

John Abraka pleaded guilty at Romford Magistrates Court on 4 April 2023, to charges for the property in Myrtle Road, Romford, which included:

  • failing to license the property as an HMO
  • failing to provide documents requested by the local authority 
  • numerous breaches of the HMO Management Regulations

Mr Abraka was fined for the offences and ordered to pay court costs and a victim surcharge. 

The Council’s private sector landlord licensing officers  visited the premises in September 2021, after receiving complaints by a member of the public about the property.

On the visit, the officers found that it was occupied by eight people with evidence of a garage having being illegally turned into a bedroom.

The property was also in a bad state of disrepair and had a lack of the required fire safety precautions expected in an HMO.  

Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council said: 

“All our residents deserve to live in safe accommodation.

"We will continue to crack down on irresponsible landlords taking advantage of families and individuals by providing poorly maintained HMO properties.

“We won’t tolerate it and neither will we stand for landlords not having the correct licences. 

“We are also here to support landlords to help them make sure tenants are living safely in private rented accommodation in Havering."

“However, landlords of HMOs that break the rules must be aware that like in this case, we will use the strongest possible action against them.”