Social housing fraud: It’s a crime
We’re always working to root out those who illegally sublet our properties.
Unlawful subletting of a social housing property is a criminal offence under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013.
Peabody, working in partnership with Islington Council’s Housing Investigations team, successfully prosecuted a tenant who was subletting their home illegally through fraudulent activity.
Details of the fraud
It came to our attention that Mr O, formerly of Dufferin Street, London had been subletting his home illegally while living in another home which he had fraudulently purchased from another housing association using the Right to Buy.
Peabody and Islington council brought the case to Blackfriars Crown Court where Mr O was tried and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment under the Fraud Act and 6 month’s suspended sentence under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act.
Mr O was also ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, told to pay an unlawful profit order of £5,100 and pay Peabody £45,000 compensation within six months. He was also ordered to pay £4000 in costs.
More homes for the people who need them
The property has now been returned and we are looking to re-let it to people that really need it. In the last three years, we’ve recovered 275 properties that were subject to tenancy fraud, freeing the homes up for families in genuine need.
Andrew Jeffries, Peabody’s Tenancy Fraud manager, said: “At a time of significant demand for social housing, it’s totally unacceptable for someone to profit from letting out social housing while living somewhere else. There are so many people out there in genuine need of that home.”
"This prosecution sends out the very clear message that Peabody will work with our local authority partners to prosecute people found to be committing fraud”.