Tenant evicted after HA uncovers truth
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Legal
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A tenant has been evicted after a social landlord discovered that he had failed to disclose vital information which would have made him ineligible for housing.
Your Homes Newcastle threw out 'Mr D' after learning from fellow social landlord Bernicia Housing Association that the resident had previously held a tenancy with them and had been subject to legal proceedings due to rent arrears and anti-social behaviour.
Furthermore, Mr D was actually in the process of being evicted by Bernicia when he fraudulently applied for housing through Tyne and Wear Homes, the scheme through which YHN lets its properties.
He claimed he was homeless on his application form and didn’t list Bernicia as his current landlord meaning YHN was unaware of any housing providers who may have been able to shed some light on his previous behaviour.
Bernicia made contact after becoming suspicious that Mr D may have sought accommodation from YHN. Once YHN was made aware of the fraud, the tenant was served with a notice of seeking possession, stating that it was the organisation’s intention to evict him.
Nick Dodgeon, tenancy services manager at YHN, said: “Cases of tenancy fraud are very rare but we take them extremely seriously at YHN.
“All applications for housing undergo strict verification checks including references from previous landlords and, if there are unexplained gaps in housing history, checks with the police. Applicants consent to all of this when they sign the application form, however, in this particular case the applicant lied about his tenancy history.
“We’re very grateful to Bernicia Housing for bringing Mr. D’s previous breaches of tenancy to our attention. YHN maintains good working relationships with many other social housing providers and such partnerships make managing complex issues such as tenancy fraud much easier.
“Mr D has recently been evicted from his home and we are now able to allocate this property to someone who legitimately qualifies for social housing. All Newcastle City Council tenants and prospective tenants should be under no illusion that if they provide false information to get a property, even if we only find out after they have the keys and a tenancy agreement, we will take the matter seriously.
“Providing fraudulent information could lead to a tenant losing their home and becoming ineligible to apply again. It could also potentially result in a criminal conviction if the case is referred to the police. I urge everyone to think twice about the repercussions before attempting to cheat the system. We are committed to making sure homes are allocated to tenants who behave appropriately.”
Hazel Wright, enforcement officer with Bernicia, said: “Bernicia is happy to have been able to help YHN with this case and this demonstrates that organisations working together and sharing information can prevent fraud and tackle other community issues.”