Posted on 21 September 2018
On 3 September 2018, a Hyde tenant was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment for illegally subletting his property for over six years.
Mr Rose, 45, was given the one-bedroom property in December 1996. However in 2017, we had reason to believe that Mr Rose was committing tenancy fraud and subletting his home. Our tenancy team worked with The Royal Borough of Greenwich Internal Audit and Anti-Fraud team to investigate further and found a woman living alone at the address who confirmed she was renting the property from Mr Rose. The 'tenant' was paying Mr Rose £800 a month in rent and had been living there since October 2015.
Council investigators also found that prior to his current ‘tenant’, Mr Rose had also sublet the property to various other tenants from July 2011 and that his bank accounts showed a rental income from July 2011 to December 2017 totalling over £57,000.
In January 2018 Royal Borough of Greenwich investigators invited Mr Rose for interview, but he refused on advice from his lawyer. He then claimed that the lady living at the property was his girlfriend and that he was living there with her. This was denied by his ‘tenant’. In March 2018, following further discussions between the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Hyde, Mr Rose was taken to court.
Mr Rose appeared at Woolwich Crown Court in September 2018, charged with two offences relating to the Fraud Act 2006 and the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013. He pleaded guilty to both charges and was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment.
Councillor Christine Grice, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said: “Mr Rose deprived genuine people of much needed accommodation for many years and made a substantial profit from his despicable actions. The Council has submitted an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to recover the money Mr Rose made from the illegal subletting. Just because you give the keys back doesn’t mean you won’t be prosecuted and lose the profits of any illegal activities.”
Tenancy Team Manager at the Hyde Group, Natalie Nye said: “We are pleased to have worked with Royal Borough of Greenwich to bring an end to the illegal subletting of this home. This resident was charging close to double the amount of rent he was paying for his social housing home and we operate a zero tolerance approach to tenancy fraud. The next step is for us to take possession back of this property as soon as possible, so that someone in genuine housing need can make it their home.”
If you suspect someone of committing tenancy fraud please contact us.