Home Barking, Dagenham, & Surrounding Areas Abraka was landlord of the ‘worst property the council ever visited’

Abraka was landlord of the ‘worst property the council ever visited’

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John Abraka

John Abraka, 52, of Canvey Island, previously illegally rented out what Barking and Dagenham deemed ‘one of their worst ever properties’ back in 2019. He has now committed another offence of a similar nature.

In 2019, John Abraka had three different households living in a 3 bedroom property which he bought under right to buy – not right to rent – and owed almost £80,000 due to not paying council tax and service charges.

He did not declare it a house in multiple occupation (HMO). The council witnessed one father and mother sharing a single room with their child.

Inspectors found the flat had no fire doors and smoke alarms. In the course of their investigation they discovered benefit fraud and Department of Work and Pensions took him to court in a separate matter.

Abraka rented out properties illegally
After the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy the council started carrying out urgent inspections of every leasehold property in its high rise buildings //ARCHANT

Cllr Margaret Mullane, Barking and Dagenham Council’s Cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “This illegal HMO was one of the worst properties our officers inspected and Abraka made no attempts to comply with our enforcement action.

“We have now successfully regained the property lease from him which means he will no longer be able to harm vulnerable tenants at this property.”

Fastforward to 2023, and at Romford Magistrates Court on 4th April, because Abraka did not declare a property, again, as a House in Multiple Occupation, he must pay over £3000 in fines in connection with a home in Myrtle Road, Romford.

The property was reported the council by a member of the public and they then visited in September 2021. Officers found it was occupied by 8 people, and a garage had been illegally converted into anothr bedroom.

The entire property was in significant disrepair and without adequate fire safety precautions for 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 licenses. 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.”

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