Published: Friday, 9th December 2016

The rogue landlord was found guilty of seven separate charges relating to the HMO.

The property at Austen Close was found in a very poor condition by Royal Greenwich officers with damp, mould and inadequate smoke alarms.

The Royal Borough first became suspicious of the property after Council Tax enquiries led officers to believe that it was inhabited by multiple families even though it was not registered as an HMO.

Upon inspection, Royal Borough officers found the property to be in a hazardous state. Multiple families were living in cramped conditions with several mattresses strewn over the floor, blocked fire-exits and very poor ventilation. Officers also noted inadequate fire precautions throughout the property as well as excessive damp and mould on the ground floor.

Mr Chiedozie Ogbuka, the owner of the property, was found guilty of seven separate charges pertaining to multiple health and safety breaches as well as failing to respond to letters and a formal notice from the Royal Borough of Greenwich. He was fined £2900 and ordered to pay £1800 in costs with a victim surcharge of £75.

'Importance of regulated and licensed HMOs'

Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment, Councillor Jackie Smith, said "Our proactive approach to tackling rogue landlords continues to pay off as more heavy fines are issued to those who think that they are above the law. Properties with inadequate smoke detectors and safety features are not just illegal; they also pose a terrible risk to the tenants living there.

"This successful case emphasises the importance of having properly regulated and licensed HMOs with rental agreements and facilities which meet the legal standard. It also coincides with our public consultation on extending our licensing of HMOs so that we can continue to drive up the standard of the private rented housing sector in the borough.

"I encourage tenants, landlords and wider residents who may be affected by these changes to take part in our consultation and work with us in our borough-wide campaign to tackle rogue landlords for good."

Report a HMO

If you are concerned that a private property may be overcrowded or operating illegally, you can contact the Royal Borough of Greenwich on