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Tenant advertised council home for £1,100 a month

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Tenant advertised council home for £1,100 a month

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Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government

Tenant advertised council home for £1,100 a month Tenant advertised council home for £1,100 a month

A local authority tenant in Barnet was found advertising her £400-a-month council home with a lettings agency for £1,100-a-month.

Officers at Barnet Homes, which manages 15,000 tenanted and leasehold properties on behalf of Barnet Council, uncovered the fraud – which could have netted the tenant some £8,000 a year – following a report of broken heating at the two-bedroom house.

The visiting gas engineer became suspicious that the woman who answered the door was not the registered tenant, and reported the issue to Barnet Homes’ fraud officers.

At a later interview, the resident told Barnet Homes investigators that she, her husband and parents-in-law had rented the property from a lettings agency at £1,100 a month. They were unaware it was a council home.

The actual tenant initially denied subletting the property, claiming that she lived there with her daughter. However, none of the personal belongings at the house belonged to them, and she was later discovered to be living in Harrow. After Barnet Homes served Notices to Quit, the tenant returned the keys.

Housing fraud nationally is estimated to cost taxpayers as much as £2billion annually.

Barnet Homes Chief Executive, Tracey Lees, said: “This tenant was making a profit not only at the expense of the people renting her home, but also of the many individuals and families who are in desperate need of council housing in Barnet.

“It defies belief that she should have thought she could get away with having her house advertised publicly as a property for rent.

“The hard work goes on to uncover other cases of housing fraud and we hope that members of the public will continue to lend their support.”

Councillor Tom Davey, Barnet Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “This was a brazen attempt to illegally profit from subletting a property but I’m delighted this will now free up a home for a family in genuine housing need.

“Barnet Homes and Barnet Council will continue to take the action needed to thwart those who are intent on cheating the system.”

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