17 Aug 2015

Kolawole Oladimeji fined for illegal sub-letting

A social housing tenant has been fined for renting out his property in a landmark case.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard Kolawole Oladimeji moved out of the house on Oaklands Grove, Gipton, and let it to an unsuspecting family for a profit.

Chevin Housing property management organisation alerted Leeds City Council after finding out what he was doing.

Following a joint investigation, a decision was taken to prosecute through the courts in the first case pursued under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act.

The court heard Oladimeji advertised the property on a free internet classified web page, issued a fake tenancy agreement and even obtained £1,500 rent in advance as well as a deposit.

The 37-year-old who gave his address as Crown Street, Reading, pleaded guilty to sub-letting the property.

He was ordered to pay a fine and costs amounting to £784.17 along with £355 in compensation. The £1,500 advance rent has also been repaid.

The council said it had now recovered more than 200 properties from suspected fraudsters.

Executive board member for communities Coun Debra Coupar said:
This landmark case demonstrates the steps we are willing to take with local housing associations to tackle tenancy fraud in our city. Social housing is for genuine applicants who need a safe and secure home.

When a tenant sublets their property it deprives another family on the waiting list of a home. This case should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks they can profit from committing tenancy fraud that we are watching closely and strong action will be taken if an offence is found to have taken place.

Good old Yorkshire name, Kolawole Oladimeji.

If the council has recovered over 200 properties that is a lot of cost saving - though the council do not say over what period the houses were recovered. Nor do they state their total housing stock.

But if  more than 200 have been recovered, there are probably plenty more wrongly occupied.

And social housing fraud is the most wicked form of welfare fraud. The sums that can be saved are huge, but it's so much more than the money - needy families are being deprived of the chance to have a settled home that suits their needs.

Against that background, the court's sentence looks regrettably puny.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When asylum seekers are given leave to remain their N.A.S.S ends and they are then classed as homeless. Homeless people, especially with children are given priority for social housing. Look up 'Legacy' asylum cases - basically an amnesty for long running claims.

Councils will deny it but former asylum seekers are 'jumping the queue'.

I imagine this person was moved to Yorkshire as an asylum seeker?