Hertfordshire Shared Anti-Fraud Service helps bring tenant to justice
Published: 17 Dec 2018
The Hertfordshire Shared Anti-Fraud Service (SAFS) has successfully teamed up with Aldwyck Housing Group to investigate a tenant who was illegally subletting his home.
At Milton Keynes Magistrates Court last week (13) Richard Siza of Kingsfold, Bradville, Milton Keynes denied subletting his social housing property and contested the allegation at the hearing for repossession of the property.
The court heard that in April 2017 SAFS received information that Mr Siza, a tenant of Aldwyck Housing Group, had been subletting the property between 2011 and 2017 while he lived with his partner at her address. Mr Siza and his partner denied the allegation.
However, in summing up, the judge stated that the evidence of subletting was overwhelming and an outright seven day possession order was awarded to Aldwyck. In addition, the housing association was awarded costs totalling £25,000, to be paid in full by Mr Siza.
Councillor Ralph Sangster, Hertfordshire County Council’s Executive Member for Resources and Performance, said: “This is a great example of partnership working between SAFS and Aldwyck Housing Group.
“We will never hesitate to investigate if we believe fraudulent activity is taking place and will continue to work to bring people to justice.”
Kirsty Pepper, Executive Director of Housing and Customer Services at Aldwyck Housing Group, stated: “This is an excellent result not only for our organisation but also for local people in housing need. This customer was gaining from a home that he wasn’t entitled to and depriving families in genuine need of a home. It’s important to show that subletting is a criminal offence and we are not afraid to take action”.
If you know someone who is unlawfully subletting their social housing property or claiming a council tax discount, or a reduction or exemption they are not entitled to you can report it to the Hertfordshire Shared Anti-Fraud Service by telephone 0300 1234033, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting the SAFS website www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/fraud.