Tenant prosecuted for social housing fraud
We continue to crack down on tenants who sublet their property illegally.
Unlawful subletting of a social housing property became a criminal offence under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013. We have recently had another successful prosecution using this legislation.
Details of the fraud
Working jointly with Islington Council, we discovered that Mrs O, formerly of Greenman Street, N1, had been subletting her Peabody property since (at least) 2010 while living with her husband and child in Greenwich in a house her husband owned. Her child attended a local school and all her financial details were registered there.
Following our investigations, Mrs O was charged with two offences: one under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013; the other under the Fraud Act 2006. She pleaded guilty to both charges and was given 9 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months. She was also given 240 hours community service and ordered to pay full costs totalling £3,000.
Peabody was awarded a money judgment order of £6,100 for the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act offence and awarded £10,000 compensation for the Fraud Act offence. The Magistrate ordered these to be paid with 6 months.
More homes for people who need them
This property has already been returned and re-let. In the last three years we've recovered 347 properties from illegal subletters, freeing the homes up for families in genuine need – that's for 585 adults and children.
Andrew Jeffries, Peabody Tenancy Fraud Manager, said:
"It's totally unacceptable for someone not to be living in their home and renting it out while there are so many people out there in genuine need.
"This investigation has freed up a much needed home and sends out the very clear message that anyone trying to cheat the system will ultimately be caught and may be prosecuted."
Tenancy fraud is thought to cost housing associations and local authorities around £955m a year.
Do you suspect someone of illegal subletting?
Making a profit from illegally subletting a Peabody property is criminal offence.Report illegal subletting here